Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran interviews Kelowna Olympians Tess Critchlow (left) and Kelsey Serwa (right). —Image: Carli Berry/Capital News

Kelowna welcomes home Olympians

Gold medalist Kelsey Serwa and snowboard cross racer Tess Critchlow feted in downtown park

Six weeks after her gold medal win at the PyeongChang Olympics, Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa, along with her fellow Kelowna Olympian Tessa Critchlow, were officially welcomed home Wednesday.

Mayor Colin Basran sat down for an public, outdoor interview with Serwa, who won gold in womne’s ski cross in South Korea in February, and Critchlow, who finished ninth in women’s snowboard cross in Stuart Park downtown in between the two athletes signing autographs and cutting a celebratory cake.

“Today’s been unreal,” said Serwa. “To be welcomed up here by such a warm and welcoming crowd is so cool. And to do it with Tess who competed in the snowboard cross, yeah, we’re so fortunate to come from this community. You can really feel the warmth.”

Serwa told the 150-strong crowd she is putting her original plan to retire from competition this year on hold. She said she plans to return to UBC Okanagan for another semester of study in the fall and and then try to convince her professors to allow her to write her final exams a little early so she can compete for one more season on the World Cup circuit.

The announcement from the three-time Olympian—who also won a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in Russia—drew applause from the crowd.

Critchlow said she has not made firm plans about her immediate future but will keep racing and hopes to compete at the next Winter Olympics in four years in Beijing, China and better her finish from PyeongChang.

Two weeks ago she won the Canadian women’s snowboard cross championship.

Both young women said they were happy to inspire other young athletes, many of whom showed up at the park to meet their sporting heroes.

But it was not just the kids who wanted to be there for to Kelowna Olympians.

Cathie Pavlik, a teacher at KLO Middle School—who taught Serwa—said she was very proud of her former student.

“She’s so great, a good person and a wonderful athlete,” said Pavlik. “She aspires to all those things you want in an athlete. She’s a good role model. It’s one of those happy endings.”

RELATED: Big White honours gold medalist Kelsey Serwa

Following her chat with the mayor, Serwa showed off both the gold medal she won in South Korea and the silver she won four years ago in Sochi.

Basran told her when he watched on television as she raced in PyeongChang, he could not contain his exuberance as she skied to victory.

“I was shouting at the television and jumping up down,” he said.

Basran said both Serwa and Critchlow are inspiring a whole new generation of young athletes with their tenacity, work ethic, drive and will to win.

Wednesday’s “Welcome Home Celebration” was hosted by the City of Kelowna and PacificSport Okanagan as an opportunity for locals to take pictures, get autographs and speak with the two athletes.

In addition to Serwa and Critchlow, Kelowna was represented by two other athletes at the Winter Games in PyeongChang, Ian Dean in men’s ski cross) and Julia Ransom on biathlon. Neither Dean nor Ransom could attend the celebration in Stuart Park.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Over 60 cats and kittens rescued by South Okanagan-Similkameen SPCA

The rescue had to close its doors for the day on Sept. 18 to assess, vaccinate, and feed the animals

Man sentenced for fatal Christmas Eve collision near Penticton

Crown said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that man was impaired

South Okanagan Indo-Canadian pledge for hospital expansion recieves large boost

Jaswinder Garib has donated $30,000 to the $500,000 pledge

COLUMN: From pot to policing

I am sure the cannabis legalization on Oct 17 will be the number one issue on everyone’s minds

LocoLanding flowers bring joy to others in Penticton

LocoLanding Amusement Park sends flowers to Penticton residents

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

Symphony giants launch 59th Okanagan Symphony Orchestra season

Concerts in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon Sept. 21-23

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

B.C. MLAs reminded of rural school struggles

Finance committee hears of falling enrolment, staff shortages

B.C. VIEWS: ’Not photo radar’ coming soon to high-crash areas

ICBC deficit now largely due to reckless and distracted driving

Researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada

Information will be used to learn more about where white sharks move in Canadian waters

Mix-up of bodies leads to funeral home reforms in Nova Scotia

One woman was was mistakenly cremated, another was embalmed and presented to family members during a visitation that went horribly wrong

Most Read