Jallen targets Worlds success despite injury

Although she has not been able to train since last April due to a lingering ankle injury, the US Para alpine skier feels confident towards next year’s World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. 20 Oct 2016
Stephanie Jallen

Stephanie Jallen

ⒸRoger Witney
By Ryan Wilson | For the IPC

“All I can do is think about when I am competing and taking in every hour, minute and second. Deliberate, purposeful practice is what I can do.”

The USA’s two-time Paralympic medallist Stephanie Jallen believes she will be in form ahead of next January’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships despite the fact that a lingering ankle injury has prevented her from training on snow since last April.

With next year’s Worlds set to take place in Tarvisio, Italy, between 22-31 January, the 20-year-old aims to improve her achievements from Panorama 2015, where she claimed a bronze medal in the women’s standing.

“I want to give my absolute all,” said Jallen.

“All I can do is think about when I am competing and taking in every hour, minute and second. Deliberate, purposeful practice is what I can do.”

She plans to hit the slopes again in November and it is still unsure whether she will compete in December’s World Cups in Kuhtai, Austria, and Saint Moritz, Switzerland.

For the time being, the US athlete is running five days per week and enjoying aerobic therapy in order to stay in good shape.

Jallen burst onto the international alpine skiing scene at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, when she claimed double bronze in both the women’s super G and super combined standing.

“Just the chance to compete there was enough for me,” said Jallen, who has CHILD syndrome, which affects the development of the left side of her body.

“I was just happy to go and I think everything that came after was just a surprise.”

She considered halting her Paralympic career after the Sochi Games to focus entirely on obtaining a degree in business management at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA, but in the end decided to continue competing.

“After my first Paralympic Games, I could not help but try again and see how much further I could go,” she said.

Jallen also plans to take some time off school at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 to fully concentrate on the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

“If you thought about all those things at once, they would drive you insane. When I am at school, I only think about school. When I am home, forget about skiing,” she said.

Although the possibility of competing at her second Paralympic Winter Games is attractive, Jallen does not want to think too far ahead just yet.

“I do not like to think too far into the future because I realise it changes a lot,” she said.

“You cannot put any weight on what might happen because what you think might not happen.”