On The Clock with Stephanie Jallen

Ken Hanscom
Jan 17, 2018 · 6 min read

Team USA skier Stephanie Jallen won two bronze medals at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, in super-G and Super Combined. She also received the award for the “Best Paralympic Moment” at Sochi 2014 from the United States Olympic Committee. Stephanie and I discussed her experience in Sochi, the 2017–18 World Para Alpine Skiing World Cup qualifiers for PyeongChang 2018, spending time with her horse and dog, and the work she is doing with Toyota in preparation for the Paralympic Winter Games.

Stephanie Jallen — Photo credit: Sean F Boggs

OTC:
Sochi 2014 represented a major step forward in your career, both winning two bronze medals in super-G and super combined, take me through that.

Stephanie Jallen:
In the beginning I was not slated to complete in the speed events, it was actually a last minute thing. That opportunity to race in those events was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I really felt no pressure because it was my first Games and I was a rookie. I just went out and skied the best that I could. It really showed me how to better handle my mental game in the future races because I knew I had to be more relaxed to ski well. So I always strive to have a calm mind when I leave the start gate and I believe that has helped me become a better racer.

OTC:
You were also recognized with an award from the United States Olympic Committee for the “Best Paralympic” moment for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games. What did that mean to you?

Stephanie Jallen:
Being recognized for the best moment of the Games was very surprising. Many people came up to me and said that my performance was inspiring, but for me it was just me being me. I was doing everything I could to do my best. I relied on my training and my coaches and trusted them to guide me in the right direction. Standing on the podium was thrilling and I did not want to miss a single moment. I took in every sound and feeling so that I would never forget it. And I don’t think I ever will.

OTC:
Coming back from Sochi with all of these accomplishments, how did things change for you over the past four years?

Stephanie Jallen:
After Sochi, that next summer I jumped right back into training for the upcoming World Cups and have been competing consistently for the last four years. Besides my surgery for my ankle in 2016, I have not taken any time off from racing or training. My success in Sochi definitely opened doors for me and it taught me that hard work really does pay off. I’ve sacrificed half of my life for ski racing and I continue to give it my all.

OTC:
The 2017–18 World Para Alpine Skiing World Cup are underway and are qualifiers for the Paralympic Winter Games. Take us through the upcoming competitions and your outlook on qualifications?

Stephanie Jallen:
I am currently traveling to Switzerland and France to compete in both tech and speed races. I feel very confident with my skiing and I have worked hard training prior to these races, so I know I’m ready. I think my biggest obstacles are my mental game and keeping my ankle in good enough condition to ski at my best. After these races we will head to World Cup Finals in Canada.

OTC:
You are a full-time student at King’s College in Pennsylvania and a Paralympic athlete who continues to compete at the world championship level? How do you balance your time commitments as a student and continuing to train and compete a Paralympic athlete?

Stephanie Jallen:
I currently took off a full year of college so that I can focus 100% on my athletic endeavors. When I did compete full time and balance my academics it was very difficult and needed a lot of planning and required a lot of sacrifice. I will return to Kings College in the fall of 2018 to finish my degree.

OTC:
You’re studying Business Administration at King’s College, what do you hope to do after you graduate?’

Stephanie Jallen:
I chose business so that I have the option to go in many different directions with it. I’m trying to keep all of my options open as I navigate the next few years with my skiing career. I plan to use my degree to possibly run my own business, but I really don’t know yet for sure.

OTC:
What hobbies do you have when you are not studying or training?

Stephanie Jallen:
My favorite thing to do when I’m not traveling is be home with my horse. I have an Appendix Quarter Horse filly and I’m very passionate about her. She currently is too young to ride so I am teaching her and growing with her. We are building a very strong bond and I’m excited to work with her in the summer. I also have an adorable dog named Parker who I refer to as my kid because he’s more like a human than a dog. He goes everywhere with me and I love to spend time hiking with him as well.

Photo Credit: Jallen Family

OTC:
Have you been to South Korea yet? For fans who have not been to South Korea yet, what is your favorite thing about South Korea?

Stephanie Jallen:
I have! I loved South Korea. I loved the food mostly! The Korean BBQ is definitely something to try if you have never tried it before. The views of Seoul and the mountains are also beautiful. The venues are very big and it will be exciting for everyone.

OTC:
Can you talk about the impact that Toyota has had on you and other Paralympic athletes and hopefuls?

Stephanie Jallen:
Toyota has been immensely supportive of me during my competition season. Their passion to move people forward and to give limitless opportunities to all is what drives the future of athletics both Paralympic and Olympic. I am very honored to be partnered with Toyota and I hope we can move forward together for a long time.

OTC:
How can fans engage with you and other Toyota athletes and hopefuls through Team Toyota during the Olympics and Paralympics?

Stephanie Jallen:
One great way to really get an insight to the athletes during the Games is through their social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. I know I will try to post as much as I can to share my experiences while I’m there so my friends and family can follow me. Fans can also check out Team Toyota following the hashtag #LetsGoPlaces or at toyota.com/teamtoyota.

About Toyota:
In March of 2015, the International Olympic Committee announced Toyota as a TOP (The Olympic Partner) Programme partner in the newly created mobility category through 2024. In addition to its relationship with the IOC, Toyota is also a Proud Partner of Team USA and supports: the International Paralympic Committee; Team USA; the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association; US Speedskating; U.S. Figure Skating; USA Hockey and the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team; U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing; U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing; and U.S. Paralympics Snowboarding.

Toyota launched its ‘Start Your Impossible’ campaign in November 2017, highlighting Toyota’s mission to create a barrier-free society and reinforce the company’s values of humility, hard work, overcoming challenges, and never giving up. Team Toyota highlights these values as its 19 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls serve to demonstrate the ultimate discovery of one’s true potential leading into the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Road to PyeongChang

Road to PyeongChang.

Road to PyeongChang

Road to PyeongChang. Covers the latest Olympics business, sponsorship, ticketing, travel, and fan news in the lead up to and during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Winter Games.

Ken Hanscom

Written by

Your guide to everything Tokyo 2020. Olympics planning, tickets, sponsorship, & experiences. COO TicketManger: kenh@ticketmanager.com

Road to PyeongChang

Road to PyeongChang. Covers the latest Olympics business, sponsorship, ticketing, travel, and fan news in the lead up to and during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics Winter Games.

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