The winner of the first gold medal for Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, Jennifer Heil claims to have been skiing since the age of two and, by the age of 16, she was the Canadian champion in moguls and dual moguls. She was considered a gold medal favorite in the freestyle skiing moguls event at the beginning of the 2006 Games, mainly due to her first-place successes in the 2004 and 2005 World Championships. In addition, she had missed out on the bronze at the same event in 2002 by only 1/100th of a point. Prior to her Olympic victory she had experienced health problems and took the 2003 season off to treat chronic shin splints, but came back in full force over the next several years, with 14 podium finishes in World Cup events in 2004 and 2005 and gold in dual moguls at the 2005 World Championships. After more victories at the 2007 World Championships, she was named Canadian Female Athlete of the Year.
Two years later she captured silver in the moguls and gold in the dual moguls at the 2009 World Championships. At the 2010 Winter Olympics she was considered the most likely individual to break Canada’s drought of Olympic gold medals on home soil, and nearly did so in the moguls event, but a spectacular final run by American Hannah Kearney left Heil with a silver medal. Canada would have to wait one more day before Alexandre Bilodeau captured gold in the men’s moguls, the first of a Winter Olympic record-breaking 14 for Canada. Nevertheless, Heil’s was still the first medal for Canada at the 2010 Games.
Due to her success, she was been the recipient of considerable external funding and had a sports psychologist and a nutritionist on her team at all times. She was a business and management student at McGill University, an athlete ambassador for David Suzuki’s “Play It Cool” program, and travelled to Rwanda and Burkina Faso with organizations promoting the importance of sport. Heil is the founder of B2ten, which has raised over $3 million to help athletes access top-tier sport training resources.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|2002 Winter Olympics||Freestyle Skiing (Skiing)||CAN||Jennifer Heil|
|Moguls, Women (Olympic)||4|
|2006 Winter Olympics||Freestyle Skiing (Skiing)||CAN||Jennifer Heil|
|Moguls, Women (Olympic)||1||Gold|
|2010 Winter Olympics||Freestyle Skiing (Skiing)||CAN||Jennifer Heil|
|Moguls, Women (Olympic)||2||Silver|