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Dara Howell tests new Olympic course in Pyeongchang

Canadian freestyle skier Dara Howell gives her first impressions of the hill she'll be defending her Olympic gold on at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

'I think it’s going to push the sport in a different direction'

The words Dara Howell used to describe Pyeongchang's new, Olympic freestyle course: different, playful and unique. (Nathan Bilow/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

Dara Howell now knows what it will to take to defend her Olympic gold medal.

The Canadian freestyle skier from Huntsville, Ont., is in Pyeongchang, South Korea this week at an Olympic test event. Howell won slopestyle gold at her first Olympic Games in Sochi two years ago, and this weekend she took on the hill she'll compete on at the 2018 Winter Games.

"It's just fun to have something different," the 21-year old said in an interview in Pyeongchang about the hill. "This course is so unique.

"I think it's going to push the sport in a different direction."

Playful features

The new Olympic course has features Howell's never seen before. 

"The top features, the rails, they're just really playful, there's so many features you can hit," she said. "There's quarter pipes in there, kind of different features you don't normally see in a slope style course. 

"And then especially on this last jump, these two side jumps that are on an angle, I've never seen anything like that. It's just so unique and so different. It's pretty cool."

Pyeongchang performance

Howell had no criticism's of the course, but admitted to only having the Sochi hill to compare it to. She's not worried about the 2018 Winter Games yet, but now can look forward and plan what she expects to be an exciting competition. 

"It's cool to come here two years before to just check it out, kind of see what to expect coming into 2018," she said. "Just being here and checking this out looks like it's going to be really fun.

"[They] built a good course."

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