February 23, 2018 / 4:25 AM / 7 months ago

Freestyle skiing: Roommates' delight at skicross one-two

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - As Canada secured their third consecutive title in the women’s ski cross on Friday, the moment was extra special for gold medalist Kelsey Serwa as the woman next to her on the podium was best friend Brittany Phelan.

Freestyle Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Ski Cross Finals - Phoenix Snow Park - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 23, 2018 - Kelsey Serwa of Canada, Brittany Phelan of Canada, Sandra Naeslund of Sweden and Fanny Smith of Switzerland compete. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The two women share a room in the Olympic village and have been close friends ever since Phelan made the switch from Alpine skiing four years ago.

Phelan said that Serwa, who won silver in Sochi, had taught her the invaluable lessons that led to Friday’s podium finish.

“She is my teammate and best friend and somebody who has really taught me everything about this sport,” said Phelan, who was keen to stress their friendship went out the window when the event began.

Freestyle Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Ski Cross Finals - Phoenix Snow Park - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 23, 2018 - Gold medallist Kelsey Serwa of Canada celebrates with her compatriot, silver medallist Brittany Phelan during the victory ceremony. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

“We gave each other a couple of fist bumps at the start and we are obviously super happy to see both of us in the final but once the gate drops you go as hard as you can and fight for the finish line.”

Serwa said the relationship was hardly one way.

“She has taught me as much back,” the 28-year-old said.

“We bounce ideas off each other all the time, we do video together, we train together. There are no secrets between us.

“Before the race we have this stupid chant and pounded knuckles. That is all we need to get each other fired up and it says everything in three words.”

Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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