Canadian Paralympian Mollie Jepsen wins gold in Pyeongchang. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

West Vancouver teen Jepsen skis to Paralympic gold in super combined debut

JEONGSEON, Korea, Republic Of — Mollie Jepsen made the most of her super combined debut at the Pyeongchang Paralympics.

The 18-year-old from West Vancouver, B.C., skied to gold in the standing category Tuesday in her first attempt at the two-race event.

“I was trying to keep a really positive attitude going into this race,” Jepsen said. “I haven’t raced a super combined ever. Not World Cup, not Europa Cup, not anything. So my expectations were quite low, which I think took some stress off, that kind of helped me almost.”

Jepsen added to the bronze she captured on the opening day of the Games. Alana Ramsay of Calgary won bronze on Tuesday, to add to the bronze she’d claimed earlier in the Games. Their medals boosted Canada’s total to 10 with five days of competition left.

Jepsen said sharing the podium with a teammate was “super awesome.”

“The team has worked so hard the past few years, really putting in the time on and off snow, so it’s just great to have as many Canadians as we can up on the podium, especially sharing it with Alana,” she said.

The Canadian team is aiming to top the 16 medals won four years ago in Sochi.

Jepsen, whose career has been hampered by two torn ACLs and a broken ankle, said she had just two words in her head when she crouched in the start gate for both the super-G and slalom races that make up the super combined event: be aggressive.

And when she finally skied to a stop after the slalom and looked up at her combined time, she was ”surprised, I was extremely surprised.”

“I don’t think I’ve put down a fast slalom run in quite a long time, so yeah, it was kind of an ‘Oh my God, really? Is that right?’ kind of moment,” she said.

Germany’s Andrea Rothfuss finished 0.37 seconds back to win silver, while Ramsay was 3.38 seconds back.

Mac Marcoux of Sault Ste-Marie, who won gold in the downhill on Day 1, fell in the super-G portion of the men’s visually impaired event and did not finish.

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