Canadian para alpine team wraps up: 4th for Marcoux & 10th for Latimer in final Slaloms
PYEONGCHANG, KOR (March 17, 2018) — On the final day of racing at the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics, Mollie Jepsen captured her fourth medal in five events, winning silver in the women’s slalom.
Jepsen’s silver finish brought the Canadian para alpine team’s medal count into double digits. The team won 10 medals in total: three gold, one silver and six bronze. Read more about the para alpine team’s medal haul in PyeongChang.
For Jepsen, her slalom result was an unexpected surprise.
“I really didn’t expect to be standing where I am, especially in slalom,” the 18-year-old up-and-comer said. “Just as I did in my super combined race, I went into it with no expectations and tried to have fun. I don’t ski a lot of slalom, so I think the lack of intensity took some stress off for me and I was able to just ski.”
Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC) was in second place going into her second run of the day. She pushed the whole way down and was able to cement her place on the podium with a combined time of one minute, 59:59 seconds. During her second run, Jepsen found herself losing ground at the second split. She recognized it and turned on the afterburners for a strong final section.
“I kind of knew I was getting tossed around a bit midway through the course,” she said. “There were some ruts and it was challenging, so I set a goal of each gate in front of me, refocused, and just went full gas again.”
For Jepsen, it hasn’t quite sunk in yet that she’s a four-time Paralympic medallist. Earlier in the Games she won gold in super combined, bronze in downhill and bronze in giant slalom. A rookie on the World Cup circuit, she came into the Games looking to simply gain experience, and instead walked away with a suitcase full of hardware.
“I don’t know if I’ve processed it,” she said. “It has been incredible.”
The newly minted Paralympic champion has pretty straightforward plans for the near future:
“Probably sleep for a few days,” she joked.
Alana Ramsay (Calgary, AB) and Erin Latimer (Toronto, ON) both posted top-10 results. Ramsay was sixth and Latimer was 10th. Frederique Turgeon (Candiac, QC) skied out during her second run and did not finish, while Mel Pemble (Victoria, BC) did not finish her first run.
ALL CANADIAN RESULTS: Women’s slalom, PyeongChang, South Korea
2 – Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC) – Women’s standing
6 – Alana Ramsay (Calgary, AB) – Women’s standing
10 – Erin Latimer (Toronto, ON) – Women’s standing
DNF 2nd run – Frederique Turgeon (Candiac, QC) – Women’s standing
DNF 1st run – Mel Pemble (Victoria, BC) – Women’s standing
Click here for detailed results
MARCOUX FINISHES FOURTH IN MEN’S PARALYMPIC SLALOM
PYEONGCHANG, KOR (March 16, 2018) — Mac Marcoux and guide Jack Leitch were fourth in men’s slalom at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, on a challenging track that eliminated more than a third of the field in the first of two runs. Marcoux and Alex Cairns were the only two Canadians to finish the race. Cairns posted a top-10 finish in what is only his second Paralympic race.
Thirty-five athletes – including four Canadians — did not finish their runs. They were toppled by tough conditions and an icy track that was the result of warm weather followed by heavy rain in the days leading up to the slalom. Many athletes missed or straddled gates, but Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) and Cairns (Squamish, BC) were able to stay in the hunt.
Marcoux, who is guided by Leitch (Calgary, AB), was tentative during the first run, which put him in fifth place and 1.65 seconds behind the leader before taking to the track for his second run.
“First run we were probably a little bit tentative. I was a little bit choked with how we skied,” the 20-year-old lamented. “I knew I had a lot more in the tank. I’m not quite sure what happened. I had a little mental block and I couldn’t let it go.”
In between his first and second runs, Marcoux took a few spins down a nearby training course to loosen up.
“I got some good feelings, and we came out and definitely skied a little harder. We got hung up a little in the middle of the course, but overall I know I’ve never been much of a slalom skier, so I’m stoked to have posted this result.”
Marcoux and Leitch were able to climb one spot to finish fourth in a combined time of one minute, 38.39 seconds.
“I’m happy. We’ve had better results, and we’ve had worse results,” Marcoux said. “I think we skied well and really fought to come back. It wasn’t quite enough but I’m excited about the fourth-place. That’s ski racing.”
CAIRNS LANDS IN TOP 10
Sit-skier Cairns, 26, was able to hang on to a top-10 result on a track that was particularly unforgiving to the sitting men – 30 racers started, and only 14 finished their runs.
Cairns is competing at his first Paralympics. He also competed in the men’s giant slalom, where he finished 14th. In Friday’s slalom event, he had a combined time of one minute, 56.94 seconds – well off the lead, but competitive in a tough field.
“I played both runs pretty safe to make sure I made it in,” Cairns said. “I almost wish I had of went for it a little more and taken some bigger risks, but overall I’m happy with what I did.”
OTHER CANADIANS SKI OUT DURING FIRST RUN
Four Canadian men didn’t have the day on the hill they were hoping for. Alexis Guimond (Gatineau, QC), Braydon Luscombe (Duncan, BC), Kurt Oatway (Calgary, AB) and Kirk Schornstein (Spruce Grove, AB) did not finish their first runs.
Oatway, who won a gold medal in the men’s super-G earlier in the Games, was a little late on a turn and wasn’t able to find his edge. A specialist in speed events, Oatway was realistic about his run.
“It’s an icy course and I haven’t done a lot of slalom training this year. We’ve been focused on speed,” the 34-year-old said. “Slalom is a totally different style of racing. In icy conditions like this, you have to be able to really sink your edge in. I just wasn’t there.”
The men’s alpine events are now finished. One day of Paralympic competition remains for the women: slalom on Saturday, March 17.
The para alpine team has so far won nine medals, including three gold, in PyeongChang.
ALL CANADIAN RESULTS:
Men’s slalom, PyeongChang, South Korea
4 – Mac Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) and guide Jack Leitch (Calgary, AB) – Men’s visually impaired
10 – Alex Cairns (Squamish, BC) – Men’s sitting
DNF 1st run – Alexis Guimond (Gatineau, QC) – Men’s standing
DNF 1st run – Kirk Schornstein (Spruce Grove, AB) – Men’s standing
DNF 1st run – Kurt Oatway (Calgary, AB) – Men’s sitting
DNF 1st run – Braydon Luscombe (Duncan, BC) – Men’s standing
Paralympic para-alpine media attache