Serwa swipes silver in France

Kelowna's Kelsey Serwa (right), seen here racing last month in Italy, won a World Cup ski cross silver medal Wednesday in France.
— image credit: Pentaphoto/Alpine Canada

One year to the week after suffering a devastating season-ending knee injury, Kelsey Serwa is skiing like she hasn't missed a beat.

The 23-year-old from Kelowna posted her second podium finish of the 2012-13 season, capturing the silver medal Wednesday at a World Cup ski cross event in Megeve, France.

At the back of the pack for much of the women's final, Serwa made a brilliant pass on the bottom of the course, moving from fourth to second place to finish just behind gold medalist Anna Woerner of Germany.

"I had a decent start but so did everyone else," Serwa said, via conference call on Wednesday morning. "I was 15 or 20 feet behind watching the action, the best seat in the house.

"I was patient with my skiing, saw an opportunity at the bottom, made my pass and was only about a foot from first place," she added. "My adrenaline was really pumping, my hands were shaking at the end, it was so exciting. I'm pretty happy."

The silver-medal effort moves Serwa into second spot in the overall World Cup standings with 301 points, 95 back of points leader Fanny Smith of Switzerland.

Serwa's first podium of the season came last month when she won gold in San Candido, Italy.

It was Jan. 11, 2012 when Serwa crashed during a race in Alpe d'Huez, France, suffering a  tear to her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and damaging her meniscus.

A year later, Serwa is understandably pleased with her progress, both mentally and physically.

"To come from where I did a year ago, to be out here in one piece is great," said Serwa, whose first World Cup race since the injury was Dec. 8 at Nakiska. "I've changed so much since Nakiska to where I am now. I was a little tentative, afraid to get snow in my face. Now, I'm almost looking for it, I'm not afraid to be aggressive and try and stuff a pass.

“I’m still going race to race and trying my best," she added. "There’s no point in looking too far ahead. But I think I’m figuring out stuff every day.”

Serwa and her Canadian ski cross teammates will now have some time off before returning to the World Cup circuit Feb. 1 to 3 in Grasgehren, Germany.

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