Ex-Paralympian Pat Jensen joins NOTA team

Pat Jensen representing Australia at the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022.

NEWS Of The Area (NOTA) is proud to announce the addition of ex-Paralympian Pat Jensen to the Port Stephens NOTA editorial team.

Pat, in his chosen sport of Para-alpine skiing, contested both the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018 and Beijing in 2022.

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Hailing from Nelson Bay, Pat first hit the slopes in 2013 at a Disabled Wintersport Australia camp and quickly made a name for himself in Para-alpine skiing circles, debuting for Australia that same year at the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup in Thredbo.

“I was always a sporty kid – running around, running into things and not looking back,” Pat said, who was diagnosed with macular dystrophy and Stargardt disease at the age of seven.

“When the opportunity for taking sport more seriously came at the end of school I wasn’t too interested, then I found out I could get a free snow trip if I went along and tried skiing out as a sport.

“As soon as I tried it I was hooked.”

Pat made his long awaited Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018, coming eleventh in the Men’s Giant Slalom Visually Impaired division.

At the 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, he finished seventh in both the Men’s Downhill and Slalom Visually Impaired and ninth in the Men’s Giant Slalom Visually Impaired.

Three years later, Pat contested in five events at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

He kicked off his campaign with the Men’s Downhill Vision Impaired event, finishing in eighth with a time of 1:23.71, +10.26 seconds behind gold medallist Johannes Aigner.

On Day 2, Pat finished in sixth position in the Men’s Super G Vision Impaired event, recording a time of 1:16.25, +7.34 seconds behind gold medallist Neil Simpson of Great Britain.

“Throughout my career I competed in countless events in many countries all around the world, but the result I am most proud of is sixth place in the Downhill at the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing.

“I clocked in at 129 kilometres per hour and even though it wasn’t a podium finish, it was the most fun I have ever had on skis.”

Then, in the Men’s Super Combined Vision Impaired event, Pat finished in eighth in the Super G leg of the event, however, a crash in the Slalom leg saw him register a DNF.

After a solid first run in the Men’s Giant Slalom Vision Impaired on Day 6, Pat was unable to finish his second run to ultimately record a DNF.

He closed his campaign with his third top ten finish of the Games in the Men’s Slalom Vision Impaired, finishing in eighth place with a time of 1:51.88.

“The Paralympics is such a great time, it’s a chance to put on the green and gold and give it everything on the biggest stage.

“I found I wasn’t as nervous as usual before races, it was more of an exciting time and a chance for your friends and family to see what Paralympic Ski racing is all about.”

Pat finished his Paralympic Ski career with an impressive haul of medals from across the globe.

“I have won a handful of national titles in several countries in Europe, which feels pretty good, knowing they grew up in the snow, while I grew up on the beach,” Pat said.

Taking a hiatus from Paralympic sport, Pat is now pursuing his passion for community and the written word as a freelance contributor with News Of The Area.

“Writing for News Of The Area is a lot of fun, it is a massive change of pace, but it is nice not having to train five hours a day and strip down to lycra when it’s minus 25 degrees and windy.

“Growing up in Nelson Bay I understand how incredible the Port Stephens community is, and now I get the chance to help it stay that way by writing and raising awareness of any issues and to celebrate the outstanding people who love the area they live in,” Pat said.

To get in touch with Pat, email pat@newsofthearea.com.au.

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