Serwa recuperates for home stretch

Chances are Kelsey Serwa won’t be 100 per cent healed when she returns to the FIS World Cup ski cross circuit March 3 in Switzerland.

Kelsey Serwa celebrates her gold medal at the world ski cross championships held earlier this month in Utah.

Chances are Kelsey Serwa won’t be 100 per cent healed when she returns to the FIS World Cup ski cross circuit March 3 in Switzerland.

But as she’s proven already this season, a battered and bruised Serwa can be equally as formidable on the course as a healthy one.

The 21-year-old was back at home in Kelowna this week recuperating from her latest injury. Serwa suffered pulled ligaments and a Grade 3 tear in her right elbow last Friday after she took a spill in the semifinals at a World Cup race in Collingwood, Ont.

Yet, after a tape job from the Team Canada physio, Serwa picked herself up to win the small final and place fifth overall.

It was the same resolve and fortitude Serwa displayed last month after crash-landing her way to a gold medal at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado.

A week later, with an injured back, multiple bruises, bumps and scrapes, Serwa won her first world championship gold medal in Deer Valley, Utah.

Now, Serwa is in the midst of a much-needed two-week respite before she returns to competitive circuit.

“I’m still pretty sore, my back and tailbone, but I’m feeling better everyday,” she said.

“The elbow isn’t as much of a problem because that’s something you can ski with.

“Hopefully my body will be feeling better and close to being back to normal for the rest of the season.”

By winning gold at the X Games and worlds, Serwa has already achieved her ultimate goals for the 2010-11 season. She is also in contention for the World Cup ski cross overall season title, but said that won’t be her focus for the reminder of the year.

“It’s been a great year already because I won the two races I really wanted most,” she said. “At worlds, I missed two days of training and I was broken, I could barely ski, but I still won. I don’t think anyone expected that from me. That was really the highlight.”

Throw in a World Cup win earlier this season in France, and 2010-11 has truly been a remarkable year for Serwa.

A freer, more relaxed approach to racing than the one she adopted last year leading up to the pressure-packed Olympics Games has produced much better results.

“I didn’t put any huge expectations on myself, I’ve just gone out and raced,” said Serwa.

“I’ve had it in my head that in the long run, one race isn’t the end of the world. One race doesn’t make a difference if you crash. There are way too many things too think about if you allow it. I function better this way.”

There are four races remaining in the World Cup season. Serwa will close out the 2010-11 ski cross campaign at the Canadian championships April 2 and 3 in Lake Louise, then will head to Hawaii for a vacation in the sun and sand.