VEYSONNAZ, Switzerland – Mollie Jepsen and Mac Marcoux made golden returns to competition and Kurt Oatway added a third victory for Canada in Wednesday’s super G races which opened the 2020 Para alpine skiing World Cup season.
In the women’s standing event, Whistler’s Jepsen, a quadruple medallist in PyeongChang who missed all of last year after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, took the gold medal clocking at one minute and 11.68 seconds. Ammi Hondo of Japan was second at 1:12.52 and Andrea Rothfuss of Germany third at 1:12.83.
“It was a sweet day, I’m stoked to be back racing,'' said Jepsen. ''Happy to put down some stuff on the speed track and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Frédérique Turgeon of St-Sauveur, Que, a triple world championship medallist in 2019, followed in fourth in 1:16.79 and Mel Pemble of Victoria was seventh in 1:23.94.
In the men’s visually impaired super G, Marcoux, a five-time Paralympic Games medallist, and his guide Tristan Rodgers of Ottawa made their World Cup debut together a memorable one by placing first in 1:03.47. Giacomo Bertagnolli and his guide Andrea Ravelli of Italy took the silver in 1:05.23 and Patrick Jensen and Amerlia Hodgsou of Australia were third in 1:11.22.
For Marcoux, todays’ win came after almost an entire year recovering from injury, and validated the decisions made during his return to snow program.
“I’m so stoked on how today went,'' he said. ''We’ve had a long return to snow. It’s super exciting to be back in a race environment and to know that the amount of time we took to come back was the right decision. We couldn’t be more stoked to be back on the top step.''
Not to be outdone, Calgary’s Oatway, the reigning Paralympic Games champion, triumphed in the men’s sitting race in 1:04.48. Jeroen Kampschreur of the Netherlands was runner -up in 1:06.52 and Takeshi Suzuki of Japan was third in 1:07.60.
“Today was good, it was a very interesting course,'' Oatway said. ''A lot of airs, leaving the ground quite often. All in all, it was a good day. ''
Competition continues Thursday with the second of three Super G’s this week.