Alpine skier Mollie Jepsen has won Canada’s first medal of the 2022 Beijing Paralympics.
Jepsen took gold in the women’s standing downhill in one minute 21.75 seconds. China’s Zhang Mengqiu took silver and Sweden’s Ebba Aarsjoe earned bronze.
The biggest challenge of the Yangqing Alpine Centre for Jepsen was that she was not very familiar with the course.
“Usually, we ski courses a million times before racing it, but this is my fourth time on this particular track,” said Jepsen. “I’m completely overwhelmed, I knew exactly what I wanted to do today, and I am happy to have put everything out there.”
Jepsen has now won five medals over the course of her Paralympic career.
The product of West Vancouver, B.C., won four medals at the Pyeongchang Games. She won gold in super combined, a silver in slalom, and a bronze in both downhill and giant slalom in 2018.
Shortly after Jepsen’s gold, Canada won another Alpine skiing medal.
Mac Marcoux of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., took silver in the men’s downhill vision impaired.
Austria’s Johannes Aigner won gold in 1:13.45, Marcoux was behind him in 1:13.81, and France’s Hyacinthe Deleplace earned bronze in 1:14.10.
Marcoux, with guide Tristan Rodgers, competed in his first race in over two years after winning the Paralympic title in Pyeongchang.
“It was such a good run. We were so nervous, or at least I was, and I think Tristan could tell at the start,” said Marcoux. “Being able to come down and lay one down and execute everything we had planned and land on the podium is overwhelming and probably one of the more rewarding runs I’ve ever done. I’m beyond stoked.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2022.