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Jepsen leads the way once again for local athletes

Whistler's Mollie Jepsen added a few more medals to her collection this past weekend at the para-alpine World Championships, while other local athletes continue to impress as well
Whistler's Mollie Jepsen during a run in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Whistler-based Paralympian Mollie Jepsen extended her streak to nine straight podiums to start the year.

The most recent podium finishes came at the World Para Snow Sports Championships in Lillehammer, Norway this past week, where Jepsen took home a bronze medal in Downhill on Jan. 14. The following day the Whistlerite was able to capture silver in Super-G, finishing just 0.45 seconds off the top spot. She capped off the contest with another bronze medal in Giant Slalom on Thursday.

"It was pretty intimidating being at World Champs after only a month or so back on the World Cup circuit," said the 20-year old skier. "It feels really good that I was able to keep my skiing pretty consistent in an even scarier environment so I am stoked to be on the podium."

With her three podium finishes in Lillehammer, Jepsen’s medal count is now at two gold, two silver and five bronze medals this season.

However, despite the fantastic results so far this season, Jepsen is not satisfied with her performance and believes there is still room to improve before the end of the season.

"Missing the top spot in Super-G was actually really tough for me. I know I left a little bit on the hill and when I crossed the finish line I knew I scrubbed some speed in areas where I should have trusted myself. Now, a couple days later, I am feeling like I learned a lot and am looking forward to the next time I can push out of the Super-G start. The skiing is there I just need to push a little bit harder," said Jepsen.

"I did find consistency, which has been my biggest strength all season, but overall I am still lacking some confidence and push. I definitely could have found more fire and intensity. From this experience, I know that is the thing I need to work on most and it is also the most difficult thing to replicate in training. As we get closer to the [Paralympic Games] I am hoping to find that last 10 per cent again."

There are three more World Cup stops in Europe before the para-alpine team returns to Whistler for its last training camp before the start of the Games in March.

But Jepsen wasn’t the only Sea to Sky athlete to put up some good finishes over the past week.

Whistler resident Teal Harle narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish at the Slopestyle World Cup in Font Romeu, France on Jan. 16.

It’s the second top-five finish of Harle’s season. The first came back in November when he took a silver medal in Chur, Switzerland.

And after finishing 26th on Jan. 13 at the World Cup stop in Deer Valley, Utah, Pemberton native and freestyle skier Brenden Kelly bounced back in a big way the following day with a ninth-place finish.