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Thompson strikes gold in ski cross

When it comes to ski cross, the Canadian kids are all right.

When it comes to ski cross, the Canadian kids are all right.

Eighteen-year old Marielle Thompson proved that true by stealing the gold medal from women’s X-Games champ Kelsey Serwa to be named Canada’s women’s ski cross champion at Lake Louise last weekend.

In the tightest race of the day, Thompson nipped Serwa at the finish line on the final jump to take the gold medal, Saturday (April 2). Staying behind the frontrunner until the flats, she drafted off Serwa, which gave her enough speed to slingshot past the X-Games champ.

“I didn’t really think I could pass her, but I carry my speed pretty well and I just got her on the last jump,” Thompson said.

The favourite going into the race, Serwa, of Kelowna, B.C., was relieved to finish a long season. Best known for her 2011 X-Games gold medal crash and bloody post-race interview, she said she’s ready for the summer break.

“I wanted to win, but second is good. I’m glad my teammate is on top of the podium,” Serwa said. “The race was pretty turn-y and not what we’re used to on the world cup circuit.”

She credited Thompson for a strong finish.

“Marielle just drafted me. It was clean,” she said.

Head coach Eric Archer was also impressed with Thompson.

“With Marielle, I was talking to her this week, trying to get her fired up. She has natural speed and a lot of people saw that in the finishing straight. That should giverher confidence heading into next season,” Archer said.

Cat Blair, also 18, took the bronze medal.

The nationals end another strong season for Canadian women, who finished in top spot when ranked against the rest of the world.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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