Canadian Kelsey Serwa stepped up from the silver medal she won at Sochi 2014 to take the gold in the women’s ski cross final at Phoenix Snow Park on Friday 23 February.
Serwa, one of two Canadians to contest the four-woman final at PyeongChang 2018, asserted herself after a vigorous start in which all four skiers jostled over the early jumps.
As Sandra Naeslund (SWE) and Fanny Smith (SUI) continued to ski shoulder-to-shoulder, Brittany Phelan (CAN) swooped past the pair in a bend and held on to make it a Canadian 1-2. Smith edged in front of Naeslund to take the bronze medal.
“I had a plan and executed it, and was so fired up,” Serwa said. “And to be there with my teammate and best friend Britt, too. It is very cool. It is very surreal to be the best in the world at something you put your heart into.”
‘Our skis were rockets today’
“I have an amazing support team around me who, from my head to my body, made sure everything was good. Our skis were rockets today.”
Serwa said she concentrated throughout her run on getting the fundamentals right. “Then it was just like, 'OK, I've done everything I can, get through this finish stretch' and that was it. I looked back and I saw Britt there and it was the best moment of my life.”
Phelan said a silver medal was “absolutely amazing”. “It couldn't have worked out any better: to finish second behind my best friend, it's like a dream come true,” she said.
“This is what I've been working for my whole life, since I was six years old I wanted an Olympic medal. For it to happen, it's unreal. It hasn't really sunk in yet.”
Earlier, Sochi 2014 gold medallist Marielle Thompson (CAN) was a shock omission when she failed to progress from her heat.