All Heil the mogul queen

TERRY JONES, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:37 PM ET

Jenn Heil has won World Cup gold before. Twenty-four times. But never like this.

I finished in a tie for first. They decided to give us both a gold. I guess it's only happened once before and that was for a silver in 1998 at Mt. Tremblant, Que., said the pride of Spruce Grove in a cell phone interview while waiting for the medal ceremony Thursday, her 45th time on a World Cup podium in her career.

The gold shared with Heather McPhie of the USA put Heil in first place in the World Cup moguls standings with another event Saturday night at the same Park City, Utah location and one next weekend in Lake Placid, N.Y. to come prior to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Heil was quite fascinated with the idea of sharing a gold but would have loved to have shared a bronze at the same Salt Lake 2002 facility back when she was 19 and finished fourth in her first Olympics, missing the medals by 1/100th of a point.

It doesn't happen every day, said the first Canadian woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal in moguls skiing.

Heil said it wouldn't have happened this day if she hadn't had a shaky bottom jump.

I caught an edge on the bottom air and that was a big mistake. I had a very low score for that back flip but the first three quarters of my run was some of the best skiing I have ever done.

It was her third consecutive gold, having won twice at the Calgary World Cup event last weekend.

The defending Olympic gold medal winner, who also to won a bronze in Finland at the first event of the season, put herself in excellent position to win her fifth World Cup championship.

I'm not really focusing on that I'm totally focusing on my performance, said the international queen of bumps and jumps.

Heil has 405 points and McPhie 276 and Canada's Kristi Richards third at 236. Shannon Bahrke of the USA was third in the event Thursday with Richards in 18th.

I still have things I can really improve on like intensity and speed top to bottom. I've definitely made a big improvement but I'm not where I can be.

That said, she's exactly where she wants to be in terms of peaking going into the Olympics, particularly after taking a year off two years ago because of the wear and tear on her pistons and

the need to virtually reinvent herself beginning with the way she walked before even putting on a pair of skis.

It's all happening at the right time, she said.


Videos

Photos