Kelsey SerwaSki cross
Serwa showed incredible determination and perseverance to fight back from knee surgeries in successive years to claim a silver medal at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, behind her teammate Marielle Thompson, who took gold. Serwa has been a revelation since switching to ski cross in 2008. She won her first World Cup race in January 2010 and hasn't looked back since. A talented, tough and extremely determined athlete, Serwa has racked up 16 World Cup podiums and won gold at the 2011 X Games and the 2011 ski cross world championships. Serwa grew up in Kelowna, B.C., where her grandfather was a co-founder of her local hill, Big White Ski Resort.
World champion – World Ski Championships – Deer Valley, USA (2011)
Gold – Winter X Games – Aspen, USA (2011)
16 World Cup podiums (2009 – 13)
World Cup ranking
Ski cross: 4th
|Ski club:||Big White Ski Club|
|Sponsor:||Canadian Pacific, T-Lane Transportation & Logistics|
Nickname: Kaser, which is a combo of my first and last name. It kind of works well with ski cross, because you case jumps.
What is your first memory of skiing? I grew up learning to ski at Big White, Kelowna. I grew up with an older brother and sister, and my parents would take us to the hill in a backpack at first. I rocked the ski leash for a while after I made it out of the backpack!
What has been your best moment in ski racing? Winning world championships (in 2011) after winning X Games the week before. I crashed through the line at X Games, which basically wrecked my entire back and tailbone. I skipped out on both the training days at world championships so I could rest and recover. Barely able to lift myself out of bed, I went on to win world championship gold against all odds. I’m still baffled by how the entire thing panned out.
What has been your worst moment in ski racing? I wouldn’t call anything a “worst moment”. Everything is a learning experience. What we do every day travelling around the world, skiing at amazing resorts, is quite a privilege, so to say you have bad moments is difficult. There are of course challenges, but you learn from them and move on.
What is your Olympic dream? I want to win an Olympic gold medal. I think it would be silly to say otherwise. That’s what we all strive for: to be the best.
What is the best thing about having the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia? I won the test event there last season, so it gives me a lot of confidence on the course. Also, there might not be the same pressure and distractions of having the Games in our home country, like Vancouver.
If you could listen to one song before leaving the start gate, what would it be? “Alive” by Pearl Jam.
If you could bring any three people in the world - living or from the past - to one of your races, who would they be and why? My great grandma is 102. She’s not able to come to my races, so I’d bring her to show her what I do. I’d also bring my parents, because they’ve put in so much effort and love to get me where I am today.
What’s a talent or skill you have that fans might be surprised to learn about? I knit and crochet hats.
If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it? I would spend it with the people I love most, doing something crazy. And eat all the ice cream in the world.
If you could own a business or be trained in any career other than ski racing, what would you choose? I would like to be a physiotherapist when I’m done with ski racing. My long-term goal is to run my own clinic.
When I’m not skiing, you can probably find me: in the gym, or travelling from one destination to another.
What’s the best thing about your hometown? Kelowna is large enough that it has everything you need, but it still has that small-town feel. I like being able to walk down the street and being able to recognize people you want to stop and have a conversation with. The community has given me so much support, which has been really appreciated.
Name the most surprising thing in your suitcase when you’re on the road: I bring a humidifier, because a lot of the mountains we travel to are pretty dry. It’s nice not having crusty boogers!
Describe your favourite thing to eat or drink during race season: Zico Coconut water and SoLo Smart Bars from North America.
If you could design your own World Cup spot anywhere in the world, where would it be? It would be great to have something close to home. A ski cross on Farnham Glacier, B.C., would be pretty neat.
Where is your favourite place to race or train? To race, San Candido, Italy. We usually race there before Christmas, so the atmosphere is always really happy.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? The ability to transport without riding a plane.
If you could build your dream home anywhere in the world, where would it be? It would be on the water with big, snowy mountains in the background, great mountain bike trails nearby, a warm beach and no neighbours.
Who is someone you admire in sport? Retired mogul skier Kristi Richards. Kristi is also from the Okanagan, and she does a really good job of promoting healthy lifestyles. She started a fund to help amateur athletes reach the next step in their career. She has good values, and she put everything into sport. I think she’s an inspiration.
2nd - Innichen/San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2013)
1st - Sochi, RUS (Feb. 2013)
2nd - Megeve, FRA (Jan. 2013)
1st - Innichen/San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2012)
1st - Innichen/San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2011)
1st - Innichen/San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2011)
2nd - Myrkdalen-Voss, NOR (March 2011)
2nd - Branas, SWE (March 2011)
2nd - Les Contamines, FRA (Jan. 2011)
1st - Alpe d’Huez, FRA (Jan. 2011)
2nd - Innichen/ San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2010)
1st - Grindelwald, SUI (March 2010)
1st - Lake Placid, USA (Jan. 2010)
1st - Alpe d’Huez, FRA (Jan. 2010)
2nd - La Plagne, FRA (March 2009)
3rd - St. Johann, AUT (Jan. 2009)
Finishes in the top 10
5th - Innichen/San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2013)
5th - Nakiska, Alta. (Dec. 2013)
10th - Les Contamines, FRA (Jan. 2013)
4th – Telluride, USA (Dec. 2012)
9th – Nakiska, Alta. (Dec. 2012)
4th – Alpe d’Huez, FRA (Jan. 2012)
10th - St. Johann, AUT (Jan. 2012)
4th - Meiringen-Hasliberg, SUI (March 2011)
10th - Grindelwald, SUI (March 2011)
5th - Blue Mountain, CAN (Feb. 2011)
5th - St. Johann, AUT (Jan. 2011)
9th - Sierra Nevada, SPA (March 2010)
10th - Meiringen-Hasliberg, SUI (March 2010)
6th - Branas, SWE (March 2010)
9th - Blue Mountain, CAN (Jan. 2010)
9th - Les Contamines, FRA (Jan. 2010)
9th - Innichen/ San Candido, ITA (Dec. 2009)
4th - Meiringen, SUI (March 2009)
5th - Grindelwald, SUI (March 2009)
5th - Myrkdalen-Voss, NOR (Feb. 2009)
9th - Cypress Mt., CAN (Feb. 2009)
5th - Flaine, FRA (Jan. 2009)
7th - Les Contamines, FRA (Jan. 2009)
2014 Olympic Winter Games - Sochi, RUS
2nd - Rosa Khutor Extreme Park
2010 Olympic Winter Games – Vancouver, B.C.
5th - Cypress Mountain, B.C.
World Ski Championships
1st - Deer Valley, USA (Feb. 2011)
5th - Inawashiro, JPN (March 2009)
Winter X Games
1st - Aspen, USA (2011)
3rd - Aspen USA (2010)
6th - Aspen, USA (2009)
Ski Cross Canadian Championships
2nd - Lake Louise, Alta. (April 2011)
1st - Calgary, Alta. (March 2009)