Jesper Pedersen from Karmøy was cherishing Norway’s first gold medal at the Paralympics in South Korea, part of a new medals rush following the Winter Olympics last month. Pedersen’s victory in the men’s giant slalom sitting came after he’d already won the World Cup in his sport.
“I don’t think I’ve realized this yet, it’s so great,” Pedersen said after winning his second medal at the Paralympics. He won bronze in the Super Combination on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old was born with a spinal condition that left him lame from the waist down. He’s been active in sports all along, though, and looked forward to the slalom event where he’s also a medal candidate.
Norway’s team at the Paralympis had a goal of winning seven medals but had just two after four days of competition. Then came Super Wednesday, when not only Pedersen won gold but Vilde Nilsen won silver in the cross-country sprint and Eirik Bye with his guide Arvid Nelson won bronze in the sprint for men with vision impairments.
The entire team was celebrating. “The Norwegian troop is very close,” Pedersen said. “We have a meeting room in our building and it’s a good gang. We like to follow each other’s progress.”
The full day of competition in spring-like temperatures added to the medals won by Pedersen and Håkon Grønsveen Ulsrud the day before. Ulsrud claimed bronze in the 20-kilometer cross country race.