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The Globe and Mail

Jenn Heil's living room is the perfect place to unwind

rogers lemoyne The Globe and Mail

Since winning the gold medal for freestyle moguls skiing at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Alberta-born Jenn Heil has lived with her boyfriend and coach, fellow freestyle skier Dominick Gauthier, in a condo near Montreal's Atwater Market. Given Heil's busy schedule – she is helping raise $1-million for the global Because I Am A Girl program, completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree at McGill University in September and serving as a spokeswoman and jewellery designer for Birks – it's not surprising that she calls her multifunctional, open-concept living room her favourite. "It's where I have a couch big enough to lie down on," the 28-year-old champion says. "Part of my job as an athlete is to ensure that I am resting and recovering in order to maximize my performance each day. Relaxing is not something that I do particularly well, but I always feel like I can unwind in this room."

1. The sofa

"I bought the couch when the stress of the Vancouver Olympics started to build about a year and a half ago. I figured I needed a couch that was as comfortable and inviting as possible. This one fits the bill."

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2. The nests on the coffee table

"These are Michael Aram candle holders that were a house-warming present from the family I lived with when I first moved to Montreal to train."

3. The lighting fixture

"This is a piece we found while training in Vancouver before the Olympics. We agonized over buying it and finally had it shipped back to Montreal. When it arrived, it was broken into about a hundred tiny pieces. We were about to throw it out, but, in a last-ditch attempt to save it, we tried gluing it first and – voilà – it worked."

4. The pillows

"The throw pillows are from the Finnish textile company Marimekko. I bought only two while competing at a World Cup in Finland. I had to wait a full year before returning to Finland to buy the third."

5. The painting

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"I got this from my friend, the artist François Samson. He also painted a piece for Dominick and me, called the Urban Podium, to celebrate our competitive sports careers; it hangs in another room.

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About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

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