February 20, 2006
Mr. Bean hopes to keep skis
PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

TURIN -- It's not often a training run makes the highlight shows. Then again, it's not often you see a training run like the one turned in by Ottawa's Jeff Bean the other day.

Flew off

Practising for the men's aerials event in freestyle skiing, which gets underway today, Bean was just coming off the jump when both his skis flew off his feet and into the air.

Continuing as if nothing had happened, Bean completed his mid-air manoeuvres, landed cleanly -- on his boots -- smiled and waved at the crowd.

Points for style? Absolutely.

Chances are, though, he'll make sure his skis are properly attached for today's qualification runs.

The 29-year-old, who just missed the podium at Salt Lake City, finishing fourth, is one of four medal hopefuls for Canada in the men's event.

Leading the way are current World Cup leader Kyle Nissen of Calgary and reigning 2005 world champ Steve Omischl of North Bay, Ont.

Calgary's Warren Shouldice is ranked third in the World Cup standings. An Olympic rookie, Nissen, 26, has a gold and two silvers this season.

Omischl isn't having as strong a year, thanks to a heel injury that nagged him early on, but he did win the worlds and has nine career gold medals from the World Cup circuit.

On the women's team are Veronika Bauer of Toronto, Amber Peterson of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Deidra Dionne of Red Deer, Alta.