Missing piece of the puzzle

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

It was the only thing she needed to complete her collection. Still is.

Jenn Heil, Canada's Olympic gold medal winner and winner of a record four consecutive World Cup titles and a world championship in duals, had never won the world championship in singles.

Still hasn't.

After six straight wins on the moguls freestyle ski World Cup circuit, Heil finished second at the event yesterday in Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy.

That was the bad news. The good news was that she was beaten by her Canadian teammate Kristi Richards of Summerland, B.C.

Richards finished with a winning score of 25.37 while Heil scored 25.25.

Deborah Scanzio of Italy was third with 25.12.

"For me, personally, it's disappointing for me for sure," said Heil, the pride of Spruce Grove and the queen of bumps and jumps in a long distance interview with the Sun two hours after the event.

"I'm definitely disappointed because I didn't ski my best. I didn't bring enough to the table at the biggest event of the season.

"The thing that makes the Olympics special is that it only happens every four years. The thing that makes the world championships is that it only comes along every second year.

"I'm certainly going to be looking forward to 2009. That one is in Japan where I won my first World Cup race and I love that course. I guess I spend the next two years looking forward to that.

"At least I won a medal. I'd never even managed to win a medal before at the world championships in singles before. It just hasn't been my event."

And how bummed out can you be when it's a team-mate who beats you?

"It was a really amazing day. Kristi skied awesome. Canada is on top of the podium. She deserved to win the world championship today," said Heil.

Richards certainly didn't expect to be on the top of the podium with Heil one step down.

"I'm just so shocked," she said.

"Obviously the world championships is one of the two biggest titles you can get, and I have one of them. But I'm going to go with it. I'm kind of speechless."

Richards, who won three World Cup medals this season, nailed it.

"I'm definitely starting to push my boundaries and just starting to tap into my potential," said Richards.

"I'm still working on basics, really, and competing them."

Heil's obviously tapped into her potential. But she admits she didn't deserve to win it.

"I had my best time and my fastest time, but on my bottom jump I came off my back flip and landed a little bit forward in kind of an A-frame with a forward lean. That was the difference between first and second."

Heil defends her world championship in duals today.


Videos

Photos