'Dream season' capped

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

It was the perfect way to end a near-perfect season.

"It's been a dream season for me and it was a great way to end it," said Jenn Heil on her cellphone as she waited for the medal ceremony after successfully defending her women's world moguls freestyle championship yesterday in Madonna Donna Di Campiglo, Italy.

"This has definitely been my most successful season."

DECORATED GIRL

Canada's Olympic gold medal winner won six straight events to capture a record fourth consecutive World Cup title, won her first overall World Cup freestyle title and her first ever World Cup race on Canadian snow. And yesterday she won her second dual moguls world championship.

"I didn't win the event that I most wanted to win this year, the world championship in singles," she said of finishing second the day before. "But otherwise it really was a dream season for me.

"Winning four successive World Cup titles was not a dream I've had.

"I just want to win another World Cup title. I never even thought about the overall title. I wasn't even close to having that many points the other years.

"It was great to finally win one in Canada," she said of Apex, the only home hill win of the 17 World Cup wins in her career. "I'm totally ecstatic."

In freestyle skiing, the world championships are held every second season and winning the side-by-side duals world championship, especially as defending champion, isn't something to be sneezed at.

"I wouldn't say it makes up for not winning the day before. That's the one I really wanted. I was disappointed with my skiing and I wanted to reverse that.

"I know I didn't have the aggressive run I needed to do to win a gold medal. I didn't want to leave any question in the judges' minds."

Heil said the day dawned with perfect conditions for her style of skiing.

"I was really, really happy because the conditions were icy. I like icy. It also seemed the moguls were pretty close together and being only 5-foot-3, that's really great for me."

The 23-year-old from Spruce Grove has dominated the duals even more than the singles.

"I think I've just lost one in three years. That was in Deer Valley, Utah."

At the end of the day, as she awaited to climb the podium, Heil said the season went from not having any races before Christmas because of a serious lack of snow in Europe to a real whirlwind of a finish.

"I'm really happy that my season is over. It was a really challenging season with the travel and all the time changes we went through.

"It was the most challenging season. My knees had been bothering me the last two races."

While the international season is over, Heil heads home to participate in nationals which will be held at the new Canada Olympic Park course in Calgary two weeks from now.

CAN'T WAIT FOR NATS

"I'm looking forward to that because my grandparents have never seen me ski before," she said. "They're going to be there."

After that, it's off to Panama.

"There are about 15 of us from several countries who are going to a private surfing camp," she said.


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