2010 Olympic and Kelowna, BC native Kelsey Serwa battled through a tough course to squeeze her way to a silver medal at the World Cup Ski Cross event in Megeve, France, on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old reigning world champion had a good start in the event final, but was pushed back into fourth place and far behind other competitors before making her passing move to push her into second place and finish just behind eventual winner Anna Woerner of Germany.
Serwa credited her patience and maturity for a podium finish on a course that left many teams unhappy with the design and layout.
“I was patient with my skiing,” said Serwa. “I was getting pushed by two French girls into the panel so I made the decision to put in a speed check and ride behind everyone. Near the bottom I saw an opportunity…and I carried speed along the flats and passed two people.”
The national team head coach, Eric Archer, noted that Canadians normally prefer an X-Games style of course that tend to be a lot wider and cause for more exciting activity compared to the narrow spaces found in France.
“Overall the race ended up being a great race after Day 1 when we first saw the course,” said Archer. “We had a lot of fixes to make before and after the first training. The race turned out to be exciting because everyone was fighting for positions and lines.”
The Canadian now sits in second place and 95 points away in World Cup standings from Swiss leader Fanny Smith who leads the way with 396 points
Serwa and her teammates will now return home for 10 days before returning to Europe to compete in the next World Cup event scheduled for February in Grasgehren, Germany.