Canadian para alpine team cracks double-digit medal haul on final day of Paralympics
PYEONGCHANG, KOR (March 17, 2018) — The Canadian para alpine team wrapped the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, with 10 medals in total, including three gold.
“I’m super proud of the team,” said Head Coach Jean-Sébastien Labrie, adding that careful preparation was a big component of the team’s success. “We set ourselves up to perform.”
The Canadians’ 10-medal finish surpasses the eight medals the team won four years ago in Sochi 2014, and is just two shy of its best-ever medal count, which was 12 in Vancouver 2010.
Top highlights from PyeongChang include:
- Newcomer Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC) wins the most medals of any other athlete on the para alpine team, scooping four in total: one gold (super combined), one silver (slalom) and two bronze (downhill and giant slalom).
- Mac Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) and guide Jack Leitch (Calgary, AB) win gold in the coveted men’s downhill. Marcoux and Leitch were not able to finish the men’s super-G or super combined, but weathered the disappointment and fought back to win bronze in men’s giant slalom
- Following an unexpected miss in the men’s downhill on day one, speed specialist Kurt Oatway (Calgary, AB) gets redemption with a gold medal in men’s super-G
- Alexis Guimond (Gatineau, QC), wins bronze in men’s giant slalom to become the first Canadian in 20 years to win a Paralympic medal in the men’s standing category
- Alana Ramsay (Calgary, AB) wins her first two Paralympic medals: bronze in women’s downhill and women’s giant slalom.
The week was a mixed bag for the team; there were huge downhill wins for Marcoux and Oatway, big Paralympic debuts from newcomers Jepsen and Guimond, and strong podium results from Ramsay. There were also several oh-so-close fourth-place finishes and other near misses.
“We had few happy surprises, and a couple of disappointments,” Labrie added. “Our sport is crazy – this Games there was lots of weather, gnarly course conditions, and changes to the schedule. In the end, we’re pretty happy with where we stand.
“It’s easy to highlight the medals, but there were a lot of great performances by athletes on our team who didn’t quite make it on the podium,” Labrie added. “I’m just as proud of those performances.”
The team’s Athletic Director Matt Hallat echoed Labrie’s sentiments.
“As always it’s a whirlwind week. The anticipation leading in is enormous, and when results happen, it’s a bit surreal. Overall I’m incredibly happy with the team’s performance. We definitely left a few out there, but that’s part of our sport. It’s the nature of the beast. I’m so proud of the team for the way we work together, and the way we perform.”
“The Games have been good, but challenging emotionally. We started off so strong with the downhill. That result almost made it harder to accept when we went out in super-G and super combined. Looking back at video of those runs and seeing how fast our splits were before we went out; it’s a little heartbreaking. But bringing things back for bronze in the giant slalom felt good.”
“It’s awesome to know we helped contribute to such a kick-ass team. Everyone here has been working so hard for the past four years, and it’s cool seeing everything pay off. All the sports have been doing the same, and it’s pretty cool being a part of such an awesome team.”
“My favourite moment of the Games was winning downhill on the first day. We’ve put a ton of work into our speed events over the past couple of years and to see it pay off made all the cold and windy days, all the crashes, worth it.”
“My experience here was a rollercoaster, really. It started off with downhill, which for me was a big disappointment. Then winning super-G was this big, incredibly high. My other events were OK. I experienced highs, lows and everything in between.”
“I’m proud of most of my performances here. There are definitely things I’d like to change, but it is what it is. I’ll get another shot in four more years.”
“My success here has been pretty unexpected, especially in the tech events like slalom. I didn’t come into the Games thinking I would win this many medals, so it’s really exciting.”
“It is so amazing being able to represent Canada in this way.”
Canadian para-alpine medals, 2018 Paralympic Winter Games
GOLD, men’s downhill – Mac Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) and Jack Leitch (Calgary, AB)
GOLD, men’s super-G – Kurt Oatway (Calgary, AB)
GOLD, women’s super combined – Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC)
SILVER, women's slalom – Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC)
BRONZE, women’s downhill – Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC)
BRONZE, women’s super-G – Alana Ramsay (Calgary, AB)
BRONZE, women’s super combined – Alana Ramsay (Calgary, AB)
BRONZE, men’s giant slalom – Mac Marcoux (Sault Ste-Marie, ON) and Jack Leitch (Calgary, AB)
BRONZE, men’s giant slalom – Alexis Guimond (Gatineau, QC)
BRONZE, women’s giant slalom – Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, BC)
Click here for detailed results
Canada officially concluded a record-breaking nine days of competition with 28 medals won at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. This is Canada’s greatest number of podium finishes at a Paralympic Winter Games in history. In the standings, Canada finished second in medal count behind the United States who won 36 medals, including 13 gold.
Paralympic para-alpine media attache