Kelsey Serwa is a Kelowna, BC, native and was named the 2009 FIS Rookie of the Year.
How did you get into your sport (i.e. other Olympians in family?)
Last season I was part of the Alpine Canada 2010 Development group. At the end of the 2007/2008 season we were wrapping up some races in Quebec. We had just finished a series and I made the decision to stick around a little longer to attend the Eastern Spring Series in Stoneham, QC. During the few days off before spring series began, my previous coach from the provincial team, Nancy Jo O'neil pulled me aside. She began telling me about the sport of ski cross and its potentials being a new Olympic sport. She mentioned how one of the coaches of the team had recently called her inquiring about if she knew of any athletes that would be interested in getting involved by participating at the first ever National Championships that were going to be held in Rossland, BC. The race was only a few days away so a decision had to be made asap. I booked a flight that night and by morning I was western bound. Despite a few travel complications on the way over, I ended up making it to the race with time to spare. I went into the race not expecting much from myself, seeing how everything was so new. Half the time I didn't even know what I was doing. Turned out that I was a natural at the sport and ended up finishing in second position. Not bad for a first attempt.
Describe a bit about your hometown, about how you got started there in your sport.
My family has always been extremely involved with Big White Ski Resort ever since it was established by my Grandfather, Cliff Serwa back in 1963. Naturally, my parents got involved with the development of the mountain. In the early 90's my dad had done some work digging a basement for the new club cabin for the Big White Racers. Conveniently, it wasn't until the job was finished before they admitted that they didn't have the money to pay my father for his work. A deal was made instead. The Big White Racers offered one "free" year in the Nancy Greene Program for myself, my sister, and my brother to compensate for the costs of the construction. That was all it took, and the family was hooked on racing. Looking back now, I think my parents would have been better to have just donated the excavation work for the basemen instead of getting us involved in racing. Expensive in an understatement for this sport. From there, I worked my way through the junior and kinder program, and then onto 4 years of FIS racing.
What is it about your hometown that inspired you in your sport?
Kelowna is a four season's playground so it was inevitable that I was going to be active in sports. The lake offers entertainment in the summer and the local mountains offer ample forms of entertainment in the winter.
How were you impacted by where you grew up?
Kelowna provided opportunities. I like to play
How would you describe yourself?
Some describe me as being free spirited. I'm easy going and fairly laid back. When it comes to sport, I am extremely focused with what I need to do to achieve my highest potential.
What is one of the biggest challenges you've faced in reaching your goals in this sport?
Not so much Ski Cross, because I am just getting into it, but more relative to Alpine. One of the biggest challenges I have faced was last year dealing with huge expectations not only from myself but from outside parties as well. Being on the Alpine Development team for the 07/08 season, there was always the pressure to perform. It was almost as if the fun had been taken away from the sport, and racing had now become a burden. I guess you could call it performance anxiety.
What do you consider of one of your biggest accomplishments to date?
Making it on the 2008 /09 National Ski Cross Team
What other interests do you have outside your sport?
I Enjoy being active in general. I love bombing down mountains, whether it be in the winter with knee deep powder, or in the summer on a mountain bike dodging trees and rocks. I enjoy spending time out on the water, whether that be lounging around on the boat or in the wake on various water toys. Volleyball, basketball, soccer, you name it, I'll play it. I also used to be an avid dancer but as Alpine got more serious, sacrifices had to be made.
On the road, I pass time making "one of a kind" hats, headbands, and just about anything else you can think of made from yarn.
|1571801.12.2013||Ski Cross||Les Contamines||FRA||10||260.00|
|1569812.23.2012||Ski Cross||Innichen/San Candido||ITA||1||1000.00|
|1569412.19.2012||Ski Cross||Val Thorens||FRA||15||160.00|