Para skiing star Mollie Jepsen says she feels confident heading into the Beijing Paralympics after a near-perfect season so far, finishing on the podium in each of the seven World Cup races she has competed in.
The 22-year-old, who is from West Vancouver, B.C., finished third at the World Para Snow Sports Championships on Friday in Lillehammer, Norway, competing in the women's standing super-G category.
Jepsen finished with a time of 1:18.67, 1.72 seconds behind winner Marie Bochet of France. It is her seventh medal in as many appearances this season.
After a difficult two years for Canada's Para alpine cohort due to the pandemic cancelling numerous tournaments, Jepsen says she welcomes the consistency of her performances over the past few months.
"I'm just trying to build some confidence and get comfortable in the environment again," she told CBC News. "It's a bit of a different vibe that I'm kind of bringing into these games here."
Jepsen says the championships in Norway this week were "very busy" because many of the categories she competes in are scheduled close to each other.
In addition, due to COVID-19 protocols, the Para alpine team could not enter the country until very close to the start of the games.
"It just kind of made it really tough for us to get on the right time zone, get over jet lag, before racing started," Jepsen said.
Though it took a while to get acclimatized, the skier says the conditions in Lillehammer are remarkably similar to her home province of B.C.
"We have a joke on the circuit about being 'advantage B.C.' when the weather's a little iffy," she said, laughing. "Athletes from B.C. have an advantage when the weather's a little funky."
The 22-year-old is now setting her sights on the Beijing Paralympics, which will run from Mar. 4-13.
But first, she says she is looking forward to a well-deserved break after her current tournament.
"I came home for Christmas, but the hustle and bustle of Christmas … it never really feels like a break," she said. "It'll be nice to kind of come home in February and see my family and rest for a little bit."
The paralympian will head to Beijing at the end of February after a short staging camp, where she is expected to compete for medals in numerous events.
Jepsen was named Best Female Athlete by the Canadian Paralympics Committee after her performance at the 2018 Paralympics, where she won four medals including one gold.
Born without fingers on her left hand, she has faced injury setbacks throughout her career, including Crohn's disease at the end of the 2018 season.
Today she wants to continue building on her remarkable run heading into Beijing.
"Every single time I push out of the start gate, I'm just kind of focused on building confidence and just leaving it all out on the hill," she said. "I'm just having fun and doing my best."
WATCH | Canada's Mollie Jepsen captures world Para snow championship silver medal: