Kelsey Serwa came back from several serious injuries to stand on the Olympic podium at Sochi 2014 where she won silver behind teammate Marielle Thompson for Canada’s record third 1-2 finish of the Games. Serwa had been one of the bright lights for Canada when ski cross made its Olympic debut at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. With only a couple of years’ experience in the sport, she put herself into the Small Final, which she won to finish fifth overall.
It was during the 2010-11 season that Serwa truly established herself as one of her sport’s elite competitors, with a particularly remarkable week in late January and early February. On January 30, she won gold at the Winter X Games. But she had crashed through the finish line and in the process had injured her back. Just four days later she stood atop the podium at the FIS World Championships. The latter achievement came after she had skipped out on both training days to rest and recover. Serwa ended the season ranked third in the ski cross World Cup standings.
Serwa encountered more adversity in January 2012 when at a World Cup race in Alpe d’Huez, France she became tangled in another skier’s pole and ruptured the ACL in her left knee. Serwa was determined to do whatever she could to speed the healing, from buying a new mattress to having sessions in a hyperbaric chamber. She returned to competition for the 2012-13 season-opening World Cup stop in Nakiska, Alberta in early December. Her comeback became complete two days before Christmas when she returned to the top of the podium, winning the World Cup on one of her favourite hills in San Candido, Italy.
Serwa made another comeback in 2013-14 after re-tearing her left ACL during a training run at the 2013 World Championships in March, requiring her to undergo surgery once again.
2014 Olympic Silver Medallist… 2011 FIS World Champion… 2011 Winter X Games Aspen Champion… 2010 Winter X Games Aspen Bronze Medallist…
Getting into the Sport: Started skiing at age two… First tried ski cross in 2007 when she was 18… Outside Interests: Enjoys knitting, crocheting and blogging during the ski season… In the off-season enjoys biking, paddle boarding and golf… Studying physiotherapy at Okanagan College… Odds and Ends: Superstition: Always taps her poles twice before getting in the gate to get her mind into racing and perhaps to intimidate her opponents… Nicknamed K-Ser… Favourite hockey team: Vancouver Canucks… Greatly admires retired Canadian moguls skier Kristi Richards for pushing the difficulty of her sport and for founding the Supporting the Dream Legacy Fund which provides financial assistance to developing athletes in the Okanagan region of British Columbia… Serwa is an ambassador for the Legacy Fund… Keeps a silver dollar sewn in her racing suit…
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
FIS World Championships: 2011 – GOLD; 2009 – 5th
Winter X Games: 2011 – GOLD; 2010 – BRONZE – 2009 – 6th