Kelsey Serwa has reached her Olympic goals in Sochi and is on a mission to help young athletes do the same.
The 24-year-old ski cross silver medalist hails from Kelowna, B.C. and joined forces with a B.C.-based tea company last year to create a scholarship fund for student athletes who excel academically. As a young competitive skiier, Serwa was a part-time student and did not qualify for scholarships. Looking to create opportunities for young athletes, she approached tea company My Tea Blending Room to create her own blends and came up with five unique tea blends bearing her name.
Students in schools across B.C. have the opportunity to sell the $20 custom teas over several weeks. Four dollars of each sale will go to the school, while the rest goes to Kelsey’s Scholarship Fund. All proceeds from Serwa’s teas raised through the website will benefit the scholarship fund. So far, sales of the custom teas have raised over $3500 with a goal of $100,000.
Amber Piche, the co-owner of My Tea Blending Room, was sick to her stomach watching Serwa compete Friday morning.
“My stomach was just like turning and turning,” she told CTV News. “I was so nervous watching the final, even the semi-final. It was amazing.”
Serwa’s Canadian teammate, 21-year-old Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C. won gold in the same event which also featured a French competitor and a Swedish competitor in the final.
Piche said she believes community support was key to Serwa’s success in the high-stress competition in Russia.
“That support that she’s been able to have from everyone around her is what fueled her, and [gave] her the confidence to go and push this hard and get that medal,” Piche said.
Serwa is also a 2011 Winter X Games ski cross champion and was the world champion at the 2011 Freestyle World Ski Championships.
“I was so excited, so proud of her,” Piche said. “She got exactly what she went there to get. She went there to get a medal and to bring it home, and she just listened to the roar of the crowd and she just did an amazing job.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim.