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.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
His father Bjorn passed away in November 2020, at age 51, after a heart attack. In January 2022 Pedersen won gold in sitting downhill at the world championships in Lillehammer, Norway, and dedicated the victory to his late father. "He can take a large part of the credit for that win. I would not be where I am today without him. The gold is in his honour. I have him with me in my mind all the time. And I have a picture of him. Dad first took me skiing when I was two years old." (vg.no, 14 Jan 2022; tv2.no, 05 Jan 2022; paralympic.org, 15 Jan 2022)
In early 2021 he auctioned five kilograms of cheese that he had received as a prize at a World Cup event in Veysonnaz, Switzerland. His intention was to raise awareness of the difference between what Para alpine skiers and their able-bodied counterparts receive for winning races. The cheese was sold to a bidder for 50,000 Norwegian kroner [around 5000 euros]. "It was a stunt, but the response has been incredible. I did it mostly to shed light on the topic. People who were not aware that there was such a great difference now think it is wrong that I do not receive a single kroner while able-bodied skiers can get 600,000 kroner for winning a race. I try to increase awareness of the differences that exist. We need attention so that people will open their eyes to us." (nrk.no, 07 Mar 2021; tv2.no, 04 Feb 2021)
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)
|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|
|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|
|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|