February 12, 2006
Bad omen doesn't stop Heil
TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

SAUZE D'OULX, Italy -- It didn't look like a good omen for Canada when media attache Michele Deslandes broke a foot in two places, was helicoptered to Turin and was in surgery hours after she was assigned to Jennifer Heil yesterday.

But Heil won her moguls event anyway.

Deslandes, the media relations director of Freestyle Canada, is expected to be on crutches for six weeks and has been replaced at freestyle skiing by Heather Armstrong who was originally assigned to Canada House.

Noemi Soucy-Girard was quickly brought to the venue from the nearby half pipe snowboard site to guide Heil through the rights-holders' TV interviews, media mixed zone, doping control and the podium press conference. "I feel so bad for (Armstrong), especially in this situation,'' Jeff Bean said.

Heil and the other competitors were not told about Deslandes before they competed in the final last night. She fell on a section of ice near the freestyle media centre descending from the mixed zone at the bottom of the course following the afternoon qualifying session.