Five tips to get started in Para alpine skiing from Paralympic champion Pedersen

Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Jesper Pedersen of Norway encourages people to take up Para alpine skiing with a smile and to believe that the sky is the limit 11 May 2023
A male athlete competes on a sit-ski.
Jesper Pedersen won four gold and a silver medal at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
ⒸSimon Bruty/OIS

Jesper Pedersen is one of the biggest stars in Para alpine skiing. He made his Paralympic debut at Pyeongchang 2018 and shot to stardom at Beijing 2022.

The athlete from Norway enjoyed his best season in 2022 and made the record books. At the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, he picked up four golds and one silver medal, and became the most successful multi-medallist at the Games across all sports and genders.

He was the only Paralympian in the Chinese capital to capture four gold medals, winning the men's super-G sitting, super combined sitting, giant slalom sitting, and slalom sitting races.

Pedersen was the only athlete at Beijing 2022 to win four gold medals. @Joel Marklund/OIS

"I exceeded all expectations. Of course, this is what I've been dreaming for the last couple of years, but to be able to have such good events here and in Hafjell (2022 World Championships) as well, it's been just amazing for me," said Pedersen, who also earned one gold and a bronze medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

In Para alpine skiing, athletes race down slopes at speeds of around 100 km per hour. Pedersen competes using a sit-ski. 

In the recently concluded season, he proved once again that he is unstoppable, picking up four golds and a silver medal at the Espot 2023 FIS Para Alpine World Championships.

So, are you interested in Para alpine skiing, or perhaps even dream of becoming a world-class skier like Pederson? Here are five tips by the five-time Paralympic champion on how to get started and win your way to the Games.

Pedersen says having patience is probably the most difficult tip because nobody becomes a champion overnight. @Simon Bruty/OIS/IOC

1. Always (try to) have fun

Not every day is going to be your best day, but you should always remember why you love your sport and what you want to achieve. In alpine skiing, you can always become a little better, no matter your level. This is what makes our sport so cool. Always smile and have fun, and you will make great progress.

2. Focus on things you have control over

This is true for both life in general and in sports. Many people complain about bad weather, but this is something we have no control over. If we choose to focus on things that we can control, including our attitude at the gym or the way we study, these are the things that can make a great impact in our life.

Being from Norway, I am used to the weather not being great, but then you learn not to let it affect you. I think this is one of my strengths that have helped me achieve my results.

3. Always try your best

In order to become the best you can be, you must lay down the extra hours in the gym or take that extra run in the training course. Always having a 100 per cent focus is essential for success. This is true both for sports and in everyday life.

4. Believe that you don't have limits

Boundaries to your achievements are usually just something your mind makes up because it is afraid to dream big. If you believe that you can achieve anything, everything is possible.

I think Para sports show the world that anything is possible, and we, as athletes, must also believe that. 

5. Be patient

This is probably the most difficult tip. Nobody becomes a world champion overnight – it requires hard work. But if you work hard and be patient, you will see results coming your way.