By Andrew Mitchell
Olympic and world champion Jenn Heil added yet another trophy to her shelf this past weekend in Voss, Norway, winning her fifth consecutive gold medal in single moguls while claiming the overall World Cup globe for the fourth straight year.
“Being a post-Olympic season, there were some challenges, but I went back to the basics and made sure I had fun,” she said. “I feel I’ve taken my skiing to the next level this year.”
Margarita Marbler of Austria placed second, while Heil’s teammate Stephanie St-Pierre picked up the bronze medal — her second in the last three contests.
Whistler’s own Sylvia Kerfoot, who started slowly after taking the summer off training, put up her best result of the season with a sixth place finish.
On the men’s side, Olympic champion Dale Begg-Smith — born in Canada, raised in Whistler, and now competing for Australia — won the gold medal and his second overall title. Nobuyuki Nishi of Japan won the silver, while Alex Bilodeau of Quebec placed third for Canada, the country’s third medal of the day. Vincent Marquis and Pierre-Alexandre Roussea, also of Quebec, were sixth and ninth.
On the second day of competition Heil picked up another gold medal, earning the overall World Cup globe to go with the moguls globe. Margarita Marbler was again second, while B.C.’s Kristi Richards won the bronze.
“We came out this morning and it was icy and incredibly steep,” said Richards. “Just to get down we would have been happy. Just to get down and come third, I’m ecstatic.”
Sylvia Kerfoot had another solid day to place seventh.
“It was the hardest course we skied this year by far, and pushed everyone’s limits to hang on,” she said. “The top three each day really did a great job, and it was so exciting to see Jenn win her fourth overall title. Best team in the world — oh yeah, Canada won the Nations Cup.
“I was really happy the first day to put down two good runs and finish sixth, best result of the year, and to follow that the next day with a seventh. I am happy to finish the season 12 th in the overall, it is my best Grand Prix (overall) finish in a long time, and I feel really good about the direction my skiing is going in. I am working on new techniques this year and even though I did not train on the snow this summer I was able to work at it through the season and will continue on this spring and summer.
“I know that with more training this summer I can be on the podium next year.”
Kerfoot is travelling with the team to Italy for the world championships this weekend, and will compete in dual moguls on Saturday. After that it’s home to Whistler and a much needed break. “We did some calculations and we have traveled 121 hours and 42 time zones in the last month. Crazy.”