Jesper Pedersen kicked off the season as an underdog; now is going into PyeongChang 2018 as a leading medal contender in the men’s sitting category.
In between, the Norwegian alpine skier delivered the best performances of his career, securing six World Cup wins, one silver and two bronze to finish first in the overall rankings with 976 points and claim his first Crystal Globe.
He also finished first in the giant slalom standings, second in the super-G, third in the slalom and fifth in the downhill.
The 18-year-old shares a highly-competitive category with Japan’s triple Paralympic champion Akira Kano, the Netherlands’ three-time world champion Jeroen Kampschreur and New Zealand’s Sochi 2014 silver medallist Corey Peters, but none of them could stop him from reaching the top.
He is especially strong in technical disciplines, but also proven strong in the super-G, winning one gold, one silver and three bronze at World Cup events in the latter.
Even though Pedersen previously stated his aim was to reach the podium at Beijing 2022, when he will be a more experienced and mature skier, his most recent results turn him into a serious candidate for gold already at PyeongChang 2018.
“I am feeling good towards the Paralympic Winter Games,” he said. “I have been training really hard to be able to be competitive. I am sure PyeongChang 2018 will be fun.”
Pedersen has already experienced what it is like to run on PyeongChang’s slopes as he participated in the Test Event last season, achieving four fifth places and one sixth.
He has already competed at a major alpine skiing competition as he took part in the 2017 World Championships in Tarvisio, Italy. Pedersen could not reach the podium on that occasion but things have changed ahead of PyeongChang 2018, with him as the new World Cup champion.
Pedersen says Norwegian alpine skiing Olympic champion Aksel Lund Svindal is his sporting idol. Now Pedersen himself will have the unique opportunity to become a national hero and make history on South Korean soil.
The Paralympic Winter Games take place in PyeongChang, South Korea from 9-18 March. Tickets can be purchased here.