At the 2014 Winter Olympics Howell started competition as a gold medal threat together with compatriot Kaya Turski. Turski was favoured ahead of her but was sick on the day of competition and crashed out in both of her qualifying runs, failing to make the final. In the final Howell had a successful first run scoring a 94.2, a run and score which would hold up as the eventual gold medal winner. Kim Lamarre a fellow Canadian finished in third to complete another two medal event for Canada at those Olympics. Howell, like many of the Canadian women in freestyle competition was close to freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died while on a training run a few years before the sport was inaugurated as an Olympic event. Burke had coached Howell at Momentum Ski Camps in Whistler Blackcomb. She dedicated her victory to Burke saying "Oh, my God. I don't know what to say. I can't believe it. It is so surreal and I am so happy to win a gold medal for Canada. I don't think it will hit me until later. It is truly amazing. There are a number of really good girls out there and I came out on top. This is the best moment in my entire life...I said it earlier this week, I hope a Canadian brings home a gold medal for Sarah. I can't believe it's me. It's totally for Sarah and I cannot believe it."