MEGEVE, France — Kelsey Serwa says she’s learned when to slow down in the fast-paced world of ski cross and her patient approach is paying off with podium finishes.
Serwa won a silver medal Wednesday at the Megeve World Cup, reaching the podium for the second time this season.
The Kelowna, B.C., skier waited for the right time to strike, then made an impressive pass near the bottom of the course to move from fourth to second.
“It was really entertaining for me because they were all really close and I was maybe 15 to 20 feet behind everyone just watching the action,” she said. “I had the best seat in the house.
“I was just patient with my skiing and near the bottom I saw an opportunity. They tried to ski a line too tight that you had to set up for and be patient on so I just nailed that and carried speed along the flats and passed two people.”
The result moved the reigning ski cross world champion into second place in the overall World Cup standings behind Fanny Smith of Switzerland.
Anna Woerner of Germany took the gold while Ophelie David of France won the bronze.
Ski cross is known as a fast, exciting sport where crashes are not out of the ordinary. Serwa says while a skier’s instinct is to attack every run at breakneck speed, she has figured out how to slow down and pick her spots.
“It’s totally something that you have to learn,” she said. “My first year racing ski cross I think I crashed nearly every race just because I wasn’t patient. I had this mentality that I had to be first every heat even though (the top two skiers) advance.
“I’ve definitely gotten better over the years just because I understand that it’s OK to be second in heats leading up to the final, and I think I have a better eye for when to make passes.”
Serwa’s other podium appearance came last month when she won gold in Italy.
In the men’s competition, American John Teller won gold ahead of Finland’s Jouni Pellinen and Armin Niederer of Switzerland.
Alex Fiva of Switzerland retained the overall lead despite finishing sixth.
Fiva has 384 points in the overall standings, Niederer has 373 and Calgary’s Brady Leman is third with 248.