Heil-land fling

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

Jennifer Heil has made it Crystal clear who is the best moguls skier in the world.

Following up on her gold medal at the Turin Olympics, Heil clinched her third consecutive Crystal Globe as champion of the World Cup circuit yesterday. Heil won Wednesday in Korea on one of the circuit's easier courses and then conquered the toughest track with a victory in Inawashiro, Japan.

"Last year it was a great honour to win for the second straight time, but I never imagined this could happen to me again," said Heil.

The 22-year-old from Spruce Grove scored a 26.19 to top Sandra Laoura of France and Japan's Aiko Uemura. But more than the opposition, Heil's most difficult task was beating the elements.

"I was quite nervous about the competition, but I really like steep courses," she explained.

SNOW CONDITIONS

"It was 12 C, which made the course very soft and the snow conditions helped slow the skiers down, which made it a bit easier to ski aggressively. I have been really focusing on trying to get more points in the bottom section.

TURN POINTS

"I have given up some of my speed in order to gain in my turn points. I made a few mistakes in the middle section but overall I was happy with my run."

Heil started the season off with a second-place finish in Tignes, France, and then won the next race in Oberstdorf, Germany. She rattled off three straight silvers in Quebec, Utah and Lake Placid and in her last race before the Olympics, Heil finished atop the podium in Italy.

Heil credited the same team of trainers and coaches who helped her win the Olympic gold with getting her to the top of the World Cup chart again.

"I am so fortunate to have the type of support and to be given the opportunities that I have with access to some of the best sport professionals in our country," she said.

"It has also taken a lot of hard work. There is no substitute for hard work."

Heil will take a rest in Hawaii on her way home from Asia and then complete the World Cup season with the final event running April 16-19 at Apex in Penticton, B.C.


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