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Canadian ski cross racer dies after mountain bike accident

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SQUAMISH, British Columbia (AP) — Canadian ski cross racer Mikayla Martin died Tuesday after a mountain bike accident in her hometown of Squamish.

The 22-year-old Martin, the winner of a world junior championship last year in Cardrona, New Zealand, was biking with a male friend on the Slhaney Trail system behind Stawamus Chief Provincial Park when she was injured, the Squamish RCMP, Squamish Search and Rescue and the B.C. Coroners Service said Wednesday in a joint statement. Martin was airlifted to a hospital.

“Mikayla embodied a love of skiing and passion for ski cross that were boundless and words can’t express how sorely she’ll be missed,” Alpine Canada President Vania Grandi said Wednesday in a statement. “We wish to express our most sincere condolences to Christine and James, Mikayla’s parents, as well as her entire family and circle of friends.”

Squamish RCMP and the coroner are continuing to investigate the incident.

“The death of Mikayla is a huge loss for the community of Squamish and an immense loss for her family and friends and our thoughts are with them,” Sgt. Sascha Banks said in the statement. “It can’t be stressed more that adventuring in Squamish comes with inherent risks.”

Martin was a promising alpine ski racer out of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club who switched to ski cross in 2017. She raced on the World Cup circuit last winter, finishing a career-best sixth in Innichen, Switzerland.

Kelsey Serwa, Olympic ski cross champion after 3 knee surgeries, retires

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Kelsey Serwa, the Canadian who overcame Olympic heartbreak and three season-ending knee surgeries to earn ski cross gold at the PyeongChang Winter Games, has retired at age 29.

“I love racing. I love that feeling. But now for sure I’m like ‘OK, my time has come, and I’m ready for the next stages of my life,'” Serwa said, according to the Canadian Press.

Those next stages include completing her undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, marrying former teammate Stan Rey in the fall and getting her Masters in physiotherapy.

Serwa’s career began before ski cross debuted at the Olympics in 2010. The Alpine skiing convert earned her first X Games medal (bronze) a month before the Vancouver Games, making her a medal threat in her native British Columbia at age 20.

But Serwa was passed down the stretch in her semifinal in her Olympic debut, just missing the medal final. She ended up fifth. Serwa’s next Olympic cycle proved her most challenging. After winning X Games and the world championships in 2011, she tore her left ACL in back-to-back seasons.

Serwa made it back for the Sochi Olympics, taking silver behind countrywoman Marielle Thompson. She considered retiring a year before the PyeongChang Winter Games after requiring a third knee surgery but pressed on.

Serwa entered her third Olympics an underdog, ranking sixth in the World Cup standings with one podium (a third place) in nearly two years. But Serwa led nearly from start to finish in the final and went one-two with her often-time roommate for international competitions, countrywoman Brittany Phelan.

“Finishing second in Sochi, that was kind of my decision-maker to go one more Olympics,” Serwa said, according to the Canadian Press. “Looking back, it kind of perfectly jumped from one to the other. The Olympic gold medal is just the cherry on top of it all.”

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The secret to Canada’s ski cross medals? Wacky workouts

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Yesterday in PyeongChang, Kelsey Serwa and Brittany Phelan went 1-2 in women’s ski cross and continued a trend of Canadian dominance.

But Serwa and Phelan don’t just win medals together — they also work out together. And some of those workouts can get a little bit… wacky.

That’s why Serwa started posting videos of those training sessions on her social media accounts using the recurring hashtag #WackyWorkoutWednesday.

Check out a few of their past workouts for yourself. Perhaps this is the secret to winning Olympic medals?