Para athletes motivated by Jepsen at Victoria Paralympian Search

Canadian Paralympic Committee

May 27, 2018

Mollie Jepsen could relate to participants at the Paralympian Search.

Mollie Jepsen and athletes

VICTORIA – Entering the gymnasium at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Jepsen was brought back to the many days of testing she has gone through as a competitor. And as the event’s athlete ambassador, she offered her best advice.

“Just have fun with it,” she said. “If there’s something you enjoy more than others, stick with that and see where it goes. It’s awesome to be able to find something you truly love and that’s when you perform your best, when you’re doing something you love. Whatever that ends up being just do that.”

Held in partnership with the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Paralympian Search in Victoria welcomed para athletes of all abilities with a goal of discovering people with high performance potential. The group of participants were tested on various skills such as power, agility, endurance, and speed through activities like sprint cycling on a stationary bike, a wheelchair obstacle course, vertical jumps, and throwing a medicine ball.

Sixteen-year-old Desiree Young, who has played wheelchair basketball and rugby, came to learn more about the sports available to her and was happy to meet other young athletes like herself.

“It’s really neat to have other people who are interested in the same thing, and live where I live, and it’s really motivating to do the best I can.”

Representatives from various sports, such as alpine skiing, snowboard, athletics, basketball, rugby, tennis, canoe, and more were on hand to oversee the testing and speak with the participants.

Julian Telfer-Wan, 22, has powerlifted for a few years but after finding out he may not be classifiable in the sport, he was invited to Paralympian Search to learn about other options.

“I’d just like to be able to compete at something, I think it’s a possibility and I’m excited to find that out.”

The participants were encouraged by four-time Paralympic medallist Jepsen, who brought her heavy hardware from PyeongChang with her to Victoria.

“Seeing someone succeed like her it’s awesome to see and she’s a great role model for many kids growing up with any type of disability,” said Telfer-Wan.

For her part, Jepsen is happy to be able to provide guidance at the young age of 18, fresh off her first Paralympic Games in PyeongChang.

“It’s pretty surprising to be here in the positon I’m in,” the Para alpine skier said. “I definitely didn’t anticipate to be 18 and be able to do this. It’s really exciting to be able to help inspire other athletes to get involved.”

Young says she wants to push as far as she can in sport.

“It’s really cool to see someone like Mollie and it shows that if you have dedication and motivation you really can get that far.”

The next Paralympian Search event will be held in Montreal on June 9, 2018. For more information or to register, please visit

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