VEYSONNAZ, Switzerland – Canada’s Mac Marcoux and his guide Tristan Rodgers won all five races this past week at the season opening World Cup stop on the Para alpine skiing World Cup circuit including the weekend’s two giant slalom races.
Marcoux, from Sault Ste Marie, Ont., completed a perfect comeback after missing last year due to injury. Last week he and Rodgers (Ottawa) also topped the field in all three Super G’s men’s visually impaired races.
On all occasions, the Paralympic champion Giacomo Bertagnolli was resigned to the silver medal position, which left the ultra-competitive Italian skier in a slight shock.
“I knew that Mac Marcoux was a good skier but this year he is even better than before,” Bertagnolli said.
“GS has been a bit of a struggle this season in training, so Tristan and I are stoked to be able to put two good runs together,’’ said Marcoux, 22, a five-time Paralympic Games medallist.
“I’m just so stoked to be back skiing. I came in open minded, wanted to feel things out, see where we were sitting. I’ve just been running the rehab train, spending a lot of time in the gym, trying to get better and healthy as much as I can be before I was back skiing.’’
Mollie Jepsen, a quadruple Paralympic Games medallist in 2018, also had an incredibly successful return to competition. She won gold in the women’s standing GS on Saturday along with her two gold and silver in the super G races.
“The hardest part was getting back in the gym and getting strong again because I had lost a lot of weight,’’ said Jepsen, a 20-year-old with a hand disability from Whistler, who missed all of last season after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. ‘’I’ve been out for a really long time, but once I got back on snow, it just felt amazing.’’
‘’Just to know that I can still punch it in there when I put in the aggression and put in all together, it’s really awesome.”
Alexis Guimond of Gatineau, Que., reached the podium three times including a silver in Saturday’s GS to go along with his silver and bronze in the Super G races.
‘’I trained a lot on GS this season and I felt that showed in the race,’’ Guimond said. ‘’My balance and transition were very strong but there is still a lot of work to do.’’
Kurt Oatway of Calgary was Canada’s other medallist this past week with gold and bronze in the super G sit skiing events.
The next stop on the circuit is this Wednesday to Friday in Prato Nevoso, Italy.