Double gold for Serwa
If the opening weekend of competition is any indication, then Kelsey Serwa's best season yet on the World Cup ski cross circuit just might be unfolding.
The 22-year-old emerging star from Kelowna raced to a pair of gold medals in the first two races on the 2011-12 FIS schedule.
On Sunday in Innichen/San Candido, Italy, Serwa was dominant on the way two making it two World Cup victories in as many days.
“It’s a fantastic start to the season,” said Serwa. “In the final I got out in front and I stayed in front all the way. I had the confidence from qualifying and the (technicians) nailed the wax once again. As soon as I started gliding, I just took off. It was great. I wish every race was like that.”
A pair of Swiss skiers, Sanna Luedi and Katrin Mueller were second and third, respectively. “Kelsey was on fire today,” said Canadian head coach Eric Archer said. “She won every heat. She had a good time out there. It’s pretty big for her to get a double win on the opening weekend.”
On Saturday, after placing second in the semifinal, Serwa raced to victory in the final, while fellow Canadian Marielle Thompson finished third.
“I couldn’t really ask for more,” said Serwa, who was also fastest in qualification. “I qualified fast and kind of took that into the racing. Thanks to the techs, the skis took off as soon as they hit the snow today.”
Calgary's Brady Leman gave Canada a sweep at the top of the podium Saturday winning the men's gold medal.
On Twitter after Saturday's race, Serwa tweeted: "Wooo hooo great day for us Canadians. First race of the season = first win of the season. Feels good to know all the hard work this summer is paying off."
The next stop on the World Cup circuit for Serwa and her Canadian teammates is Jan. 6 in St. Johann, Austria.
After finishing fifth at the 2010 Winter Olympics and earning rookie of the years honours on the World Cup circuit, Serwa made her big breakthrough on the international scene the following season. She crash-landed her way to victory at the 2011 X-Games in Aspen, then a week later captured the gold at the world championships in Utah.
Serwa finished third overall last season on the World Cup circui