Bilodeau bounces back

By IAN BUSBY, QMI AGENCY

Alexandre Bilodeau came out flying in his first moguls run at Canada Olympic Park, and the speed threw him off-course.

So with a second chance, the Quebec City native slowed it down and instead wowed the crowd last night with a difficult back-double full flip.

The result was a silver medal in a freestyle World Cup and sweet redemption after finishing back of the pack Friday night.

"When you end up 16th after being first in qualifying, it's a hard pill to swallow," said the 22-year-old medal hopeful in Vancouver.

"Sometimes, you need to take it. It can't always be easy, and it's in those moments you learn. I've showed I learned my lesson. The mistake is when you do it twice."

For the second straight night, Jennifer Heil won the women's event, capping off a great performance in her first Alberta competition.

Heil took the overall World Cup lead and gives her more momentum heading into Vancouver next month.

"I left a few holes in my performance last night," said Heil about Friday's victory. "When I went home and looked at it on video, I really noticed it. My goal was to fill those holes.

"I could hear the results (of other skiers) on top, and I knew I had to put it on the table. I'm on the path to the Olympics. We are in the countdown now, so I'm really focused."

Bilodeau placed second behind Dale Begg-Smith, a Vancouver native who competes for Australia, while Russian Alexandr Smyshlyaev took silver.

Japan's Aiko Uemura took silver behind Heil, while Nikola Sudova of the Czech Republic took the bronze.

The women's event was marred by crashes as four skiers wiped out in spectacularly scary fashion.

The freestyle World Cup concludes today, with the aerials finals starting at 1:30 p.m.

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA

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