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Heil wins moguls, broken thumb and all

Jennifer Heil, the reigning World Cup moguls champion, started the 2004-2005 season on top, edging out Norway’s Kari Traa in the dual slalom at Tignes, France.

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Heil had lowered her expectations coming into the contest, after lowering the degree of difficulty on her jumps to compensate for a broken thumb. Still, the 21 year old from Spruce Grove, Alberta, was flawless in capturing her first gold medal of the season.

"It was a good season opener, but it’s a brand new season and there are a lot of competitive skiers out there," said Heil, who netted nine World Cup podiums last year to help Canada win the Nations Cup for overall team performance.

Sara Kjellin of Sweden was third, edging out another Canadian skier, Elisa Kurylowicz of Manotick, Ontario.

Stephanie St. Pierre of Victoriaville, Quebec, finished 12 th after falling in the first round of the finals. Kristi Richards of Summerland, B.C. just missed the finals, finishing 13 th – a good start considering she missed most of last season with a knee injury. Jennifer Simm of Prince George was 19 th , while Whistler’s Sylvia Kerfoot was 20 th .

In the men’s competition, Janne Lahtela of Finland took the title, ahead of Travis Mayer and Travis-Antone Cabral of the U.S. In total six Americans reached the final.

The only Canadian in the finals was Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau, in 11 th place. Jean-Francois Therrien of Laval, Quebec was 19 th and Chris Wong of Prince George 20 th .

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