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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Imagen
a male sit skier punches the air in celebration

Jesper Pedersen

Alpine Skiing
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Competing at PyeongChang 2018 was a life-changing experience for Jesper Pedersen. The young Norwegian alpine skier won gold in the men’s giant slalom sitting and bronze in the super-combined.

“Nobody knew me when I went to Korea but when I got back everybody did. The TV coverage from PyeongChang 2018 was good in Norway so lots of people wanted a chat.

“It was pretty cool. Everyone knows me in my hometown anyway but now I'm the guy with a gold medal. They think, 'Whoa'."

It was the cherry on the cake of a perfect season which also saw him climbing onto the top of the World Cup overall standings for the first time.

Following such outstanding results, he received the Paralympic Honour Award from the Norwegian government. He was also presented with the Gold Medal Honour by the Norwegian Ski Federation.

Pedersen, who was born with spina bifida, competed at one World Championships in 2017, failing to reach the podium.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
LW11

Further personal information

Residence
Haugesund, NOR
Occupation
Student
Languages
English, German, Norwegian, Spanish

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He first tried skiing in 2001 with his father in Norway, and began skiing alone in 2007 in Beitostolen, Norway.
Why this sport?
"When I'm skiing I feel free and I'm able to do the same things as my friends. I also [enjoy] going fast down hills and competing."
Club / Team
Plogen SK: Haugesund, NOR
Name of coach
Hans Blattmann [national], NOR
Training Regime
He trains with the Norwegian able-bodied national team. "Our set-up is special. I train with the likes of [world and Olympic champion] Aksel Lund Svindal at the same camps, with the same coaches, so I'm part of the team. They are really nice guys as well as amazing idols, and it's incredible to ski with them. I love it."

International debut

Year
2014
Competing for
Norway
Location
Landgraaf, NED

General interest

Hobbies
Spending time with friends and family, cycling, swimming, table tennis, badminton. (NPC Media Guide, 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Claiming victory for the first time at a World Cup event by placing first in slalom sitting in Kuhtai, Austria, in December 2017. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
His father. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
Norwegian alpine skier Aksel Lund Svindal. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2018)
Injuries
In 2018 he was affected by a heart infection and was unable to ski for six months. He returned to competition in January 2019. (paralympic.org, 22 Mar 2019, 10 Dec 2018; nrk.no, 03 Jul 2018)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He always goes through the course with his coach before the start of the race. (Athlete, 22 Jun 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"With enough training, you can do anything." (paralympic.org, 10 Dec 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2018 he received the Paralympic Honour Award from the Norwegian government. He was also presented with the Gold Medal Honour by the Norwegian Ski Federation. (regjeringen.no, 07 Jun 2018; langrenn.com, 04 Jun 2018)
Other sports
He has competed in Para athletics for the Akra IL club in Norway. (skiforbundet.no, 2016)
Impairment
He was born with spina bifida. (Athlete, 05 Mar 2018)
Other information
PARALYMPIC SUCCESS
He was Norway's sole gold medallist at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, claiming victory in the sitting giant slalom. "Nobody knew me when I went to [the Republic of] Korea but when I got back everybody did. The TV coverage from Pyeongchang 2018 was good in Norway so lots of people wanted a chat. It was pretty cool. Everyone knows me in my hometown anyway but now I'm the guy with a gold medal. They think, 'Whoa'." (paralympic.org, 10 Dec 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2017 IPC Alpine skiing World Championships Tarvisio, ITA (Tarvisio, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2017-01-25 8
Men's Super-G Sitting Race 1 2017-01-26 7
Men's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2017-01-28 6
Men's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2017-01-30 9999
Men's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2017-01-31 5
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Downhill Sitting Final 2018-03-10 6
Men's Super-G Sitting Final 2018-03-11 4
Men's Super Combined Sitting Final 2018-03-13 3
Men's Giant Slalom Sitting Final 2018-03-14 1
Men's Slalom Sitting Final 2018-03-17 5
Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships (Kranjska Gora/Sella Nevea, Slovenia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Giant Slalom Sitting Race 1 2019-01-21 3
Men's Slalom Sitting Race 1 2019-01-23 2
Men's Downhill Sitting Race 1 2019-01-30 7
Men's Super-Combined Sitting Race 1 2019-01-31 2
Men's Super-G Sitting Race 1 (from SC) 2019-01-31 3