PYEONGCHANG, KOR (March 14, 2018) — On the fourth day of para alpine competition at the PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games, the Canadian team capped the giant slalom event with three bronze medals: one apiece for Mac Marcoux, Alexis Guimond and Mollie Jepsen. The trio’s podium achievement brings the Canadian para alpine team’s medal count to nine, including three gold. This trumps the eight para-alpine medals won by Canadians at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics, with two more days of competition still to come.
Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC) kick-started the day’s medal streak by winning her third medal of the Games with a combined time of two minutes, 25.72 seconds. Earlier this week she also won bronze in downhill, and gold in super combined.
“I’ve definitely had a big confidence boost since I’ve been here, so I’ve just been trying to attack the course every single day,” the 18-year-old said. Jepsen came to the Games as a rookie looking to gain experience, and has exceeded expectations with her trio of medals so far.
“When you have a good thing going on a hill – the crowd, good runs – it makes you want to attack more each day,” she added. “It’s exciting.”
Alana Ramsay (Calgary, AB), who already won bronze in women’s super-G and super combined, fell short of the giant slalom podium by one spot, finishing fourth.
Guimond (Gatineau, QC) laid down the fastest Canadian run of the day during his second run, nabbing bronze in a combined time of two minutes, 13.67 seconds.
The bronze result marks the first time in 20 years a Canadian has won a Paralympic medal in Guimond’s category -- men’s standing. The last Canadian male to podium in the standing category was Mark Ludbrook, who won super-G bronze in Nagano in 1998.
Guimond is only 18 years old and is racing at his first Paralympic Games.
“This is a dream come true for me,” an ecstatic Guimond said following his race. “I’ve dreamt about the Paralympics since I was six years old, so being a medallist at my first Paralympics is an amazing feeling. It’s just magical for me.”
When Guimond realized he was on the podium, teammates and coaches in the finish area enthusiastically tackled him. He placed fourth two days in a row at the downhill and super-G events just days earlier, unable to crack the podium. He said he felt frustrated after back-to-back fourth-place finishes, but by changing his mindset heading into today’s race, he was able to crank it up an extra notch.
“I had nothing to lose,” Guimond said. “I didn’t expect a podium today, to be completely honest. I just went and gave it my all, not thinking of a medal. That’s a different mindset than how I’ve raced so far in this Paralympics, which I think made the difference for me. I’m so excited.”
Marcoux battles back to the podium for second medal of the Games
Following a tentative first run in the morning, Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) guided by Jack Leitch (Calgary, AB) opened the throttle during his second trip down the course. He was fourth heading into run number two, 4.32 seconds behind the leader and eventual gold medallist, Giacomo Bertagnolli of Italy. Marcoux was able to attack and move onto the podium with a combined time of two minutes, 17.51 seconds.
“In the first run today, my mind wasn’t really in the right space. I was just trying to ski to the finish, but I was having a few little battles with myself, and we skied kind of conservatively,” said the 20-year-old, who fell and did finish his previous two races (super-G and the super-G portion of the super combined).
“Those two super-G runs I didn’t finish were starting to get in my mind a little bit. But in the second run today we were feeling a bit better and skied faster – still not 100 per cent – but it was enough to step up and make it on the podium.
“I think now that we have that out of the way, we’re ready for slalom.”
ALL CANADIAN RESULTS:
Men’s and Women’s Giant Slalom, PyeongChang, South Korea
3 – Alexis Guimond (Gatineau, QC) - Men’s standing
3 - Mac Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) and guide Jack Leitch (Calgary, AB) – Men’s visually impaired
12 - Kurt Oatway (Calgary, AB) – Men’s sitting
13 – Kirk Schornstein (Spruce Grove, AB) – Men’s standing
14 – Alex Cairns (Squamish, BC) – Men’s sitting
DNS 2nd run – Braydon Luscombe (Duncan, BC) – Men’s standing
3 – Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC) – Women’s standing
4 – Alana Ramsay (Calgary, AB) – Women’s standing
9 – Frederique Turgeon (Candiac, QC) – Women’s standing
11 – Mel Pemble (Victoria, BC) – Women’s Standing
12 – Erin Latimer (Toronto, ON) – Women’s standing