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Lydia Lassila Interview: Australian Olympic champion, with a passion for yoga and wellness

Dive into our exclusive chat with Lydia Lassila, Australian Olympic champion and creator of BodyICE and ZONE by Lydia. From winning Gold in Vancouver 2010 to building wellness empires, Lydia shares her journey, the inspiration behind her ventures, and the role of magnesium in her recovery. Discover a day in Lydia's life, balancing businesses and well-being.
Lydia Lassila Interview: Australian Olympic champion, with a passion for yoga and wellness

Hi Lydia! Thanks for collaborating with us. Can you give us a quick snapshot of your career?

Thanks for having me. Well in my previous life I was a freestyle aerial skier. I competed at five consecutive Winter Olympic Games - Gold in Vancouver 2010, and Bronze in Sochi 2014. My experiences as an athlete have inspired the businesses I have created in BodyICE and ZONE by Lydia. I’m also a mum of two energetic boys which is the best job in the world.

Can you share the story of how your businesses started? And how has your experience as an athlete influenced the brand's philosophy and products?

BodyICE was started after a string of knee injuries in 2006. I had two ACL reconstructions in the space of 6 months and was needing to ice constantly for pain and swelling. I couldn’t find an ice pack in the market that would fit securely to my knee and that stayed cold and stayed in place. So in my year off from sport recovering from a second ACL surgery, I decided to fix that problem and BodyICE was born. Initially, it was just our Recovery range: joint specific ice and heat packs that retained their temperature and stayed in place.

The experience of motherhood later inspired our BodyICE Woman and BodyICE Kids ranges.

ZONE by Lydia was launched in 2020 after I retired from professional sport. I owe my longevity in sport to yoga. Without yoga, my career would have ended in 2012 after a debilitating back injury and I am grateful I found my teacher Duncan who guided me (and still does) back to full health.

ZONE by Lydia is my way of paying homage to the practice of yoga - which for me, has been the gift that keeps on giving. I wanted to create a brand that encourages people to make space in their lives for yoga and I wanted to do this in the most sustainable way by only offering products made from natural, sustainable materials like cork and hemp. Practising yoga allows me to be fully present and ‘in the zone’ and I want everyone to experience that feeling.


Could you take us through a typical day in your life, including how managing your brands fit into your daily routine as well as maintaining physical and mental well-being?

At the moment I’m living in Northern Finland where it’s winter for 6 months of the year, so being in the European time zone and running businesses in Australia is a challenge. I normally start work around 7am so that I catch people in Australia before business hours are over. It’s a juggle managing two different businesses but I try to compartmentalise and manage the best way I can. Afternoons are reserved for some kind of activity - whether that’s going skiing with the kids, after school sports, a gym session or practising yoga. I feel very grumpy without some form of movement so I make moving (of any kind) a priority.


What challenges have you faced in transitioning from an athlete to an entrepreneur, and how has that journey contributed to your personal growth?

I was still an athlete when I started in business and I competed at two Olympic Games as a mother! So having these other important facets in my life really helped me transition into ‘normal life’ after a career in sport. I basically shifted my focus away from sport to the other priorities in my life - family, business and fun. I was fortunate to finish my sporting career on my own terms. I loved being an athlete, but I was ready to close that chapter and move onto other things in life.


Who or what inspires you the most in your entrepreneurial journey, and are there any role models who have influenced your approach to business?

I feel like I’m in awe of so many people in business that have become ‘Olympic Champions’ in their own niche. People like Janine Allis, Zoe Foster Blake are examples of women in business I look up to.

Can you share your perspective on how magnesium has played a role in your personal wellness journey?

As an athlete, being able to recover efficiently directly correlates to the quality of your training and performance. Magnesium plays a big part in that recovery process and something I used daily as an athlete to ensure I could recover. These days, I use it after a heavy session in the gym, or after a day of ski touring. It’s also a must on surf trips where we’re surfing a couple of sessions everyday. 


What benefits have you experienced since using Salt Lab?

Since using Salt Lab, I definitely have noticed improved recovery in terms of muscle soreness. I like the ease of the spray and that tingling feeling on my skin reminds me it’s something my body needs


Can you give us a glimpse into the future? Are there any upcoming products or initiatives that you're particularly excited about?

Yes, 2024 is exciting. We have some new release products for BodyICE in the cold and heat therapy space as well as new hemp styles launching for ZONE. I can’t give too much away but I am excited!


What message or piece of wisdom would you like to share with our audience, especially those who are on their own wellness journey?

Prioritise looking after your body and mind so that it can look after you.