Calgary, Alta. (Jan. 9, 2019) – Paralympic medallist and 2018 IPC Crystal Globe super-G champion Mollie Jepsen (West Vancouver, B.C./Whistler Mountain Ski Club) will be adjusting her training and racing schedule this year following her diagnosis of Crohn’s disease during the off-season.
Jepsen, 19, took home four Paralympic medals in 2018, including a gold medal in the super combined. She attended a training camp in Chile over the summer, and found herself in hospital where she was diagnosed with Crohn’s – one of the most serious inflammatory bowel diseases – just days after returning home from camp.
“It’s been a huge learning curve,” said Jepsen of the disease whose symptoms and side-effects include difficulty in absorbing nutrients, nutritional deficiencies, and extreme fatigue and pain – less than ideal for a high-performance athlete. “I’m still learning every day. It’s really hard to manage on the road – I’ve had to change my diet completely. But the help and support of my family, our team doctor, and my coaches and teammates has really helped me get through this.”
Jepsen is hoping for a return to competition this season as she stabilizes her condition through medication and lifestyle changes. While this is different from earlier injuries suffered in her career since joining the national team in 2017, Jepsen is viewing this latest setback as “just another hurdle to work through.”
“I feel confident in my ability to return to racing,” she said.