Gang of Misfits

Image:Gang of Misfits
13. Mar, 2018 Written by: Martin Tekše


Ski cross is the most interesting and engaging discipline in skiing, in many respects. Yes, there are the death defying jumps, light speed turns, overtakes and tactical tricks, but there is much more to the sport than that. The athletes are the true stars here and each and every one of them has a story to tell. Elan’s presence in the ski cross world is represented by a strong team with members from all around the globe. Some come from the alpine disciplines, others specialized in this unique form of gladiatorial skiing from the very start.

They come from all corners of the world, they speak Slovenian, English, French, Russian ... They make up a motley crew that carries the name of the Slovenian ski brand out into the world. Their success in racing means that there are often three or even four skiers in a run fighting for position on vivid green Elan skis. Kevin Drury, Filip Flisar, Brady Leman, Brittany Phelan, Kelsey Serwa, Terence Tchiknavorian and company are all skiers first and foremost. But the skiing prowess of every one of them is the result of an interesting personality with talents, knowledge and hobbies that reach way beyond the snowy slopes.

Picture of Kevin Drury


Fantasy junkie

“I love being outside in the mountains. Most of all though, I absolutely love sports. Growing up I played everything I possibly could. I was a competitive tennis player, I played hockey, soccer, rugby, badminton, squash and rode bikes...,” says Kevin Drury. The Canadian has been a member of the Elan Ski Cross Team for several years. “I still play hockey in the spring and fall and soccer and squash in the summer. But most of all I bike. When I'm out East in Canada I stick to road biking, but during the summers in Whistler I ride Enduro. Biking is very similar to skiing. You have to choose your lines, react to bumps and jumps and everything that comes at you...”

Kevin’s obsession with sports most likely comes from his father who at age sixty still skis almost every day in winter and mountain bikes in summer.

Kevin has an interesting taste in books and films as well. He’s a big fan of fantasy fiction. “I have a very active imagination. When a good fantasy book creates an incredible new world for me, my mind goes there and I get completely sucked in. My favorite films have to be James Bond and Jason Bourne,” says Drury who also played the saxophone for 11 years. When asked about his favorite place on the globe, Kevin’s answer leaves no doubts. “Whistler! It’s the ideal spot for me. There’s everything to do right at your doorstep, skiing in winter and mountain biking in summer.”

Picture of Filip Flisar


Wild Child

“I was a wild kid when I was born and deep down I never changed. I love discovering new things, I’m addicted to speed and testing my limits,” summarizes Filip Flisar. His achievements include the titles of World Champion and World Cup Champion and seven World Cup wins. The thirty year old from Maribor, Slovenia, is one of the most recognizable personalities on the ski cross tour. He is much more than a pretty face with an enviable moustache. In the off season he transforms into a racer on two wheels. Filip is just as home on a BMX, mountain bike or dirt bike as he is on skis, and he is just as good on four wheels too, be it a skateboard or a car. “Well, skiing is still my number one sport and the Olympics are coming next winter. I still have a few scores to settle there,” says the mustached one and goes on: “I’m also really into music. I love discovering new places and cooking with my girlfriend’s recipes.”

Filip is an adventurer, but he is also a perfectionist. “I have an unstoppable drive for constant progress. In sports and life in general. I just know things can always be done better.”

He is a direct and honest man through and through. That is why he has no problem admitting that he’s lately been reading too much internet and not enough books. He also thinks watching films is a waste of time. That makes sense, since he’s the active type and always on the way to a new adventure. In summer, Filip swears by the Adriatic coast, but also loves the Western USA and the vineyard covered hills around his hometown of Maribor.

Picture of Kelsey Serwa


Happy Pants

Kelsey Serwa is one of the best ski cross racers of the last decade. The list of her successes is a long one: double X Games winner, World Champion, silver Olympic medalist, winner of eight World Cup races. Kelsey is a happy person, always up for a good laugh and fun times: “I enjoy new experiences and sharing them with close friends. On the flip side, I’m a hard worker, and am very dedicated and passionate about the things I set my mind to.” In spite of her successes, skiing is just part of her rich and varied life. She is a studying towards a degree in Human Kinetics and the University of British Columbia and aspires to become a physiotherapist. Outside skiing, Kelsey loves cross-country biking, hiking, surfing and yoga.

“I want to enjoy what I’m doing. I’m also quite competitive so I want to always be the best at everything I do. Sometimes I find myself drifting away from happiness and focus too much on perfection, but not for long.”

Kelsey is a curious and sensitive person. Her personality is reflected in her eclectic musical taste, ranging from classics such as The Beatles and Led Zeppelin to tropical dance and country music. Her bookshelf is currently occupied by study literature.

Oh, we almost forgot. Kelsey is also known for Wacky Workout Wednesdays, a collection of weird and wonderful workouts she keeps together with her friend and teammate Brittany Phelan. Kelsey is also Elan’s Instagram reporter.

Read more about Kelsey in blog post: "Smile On My Face, Optimism In My Heart"

Picture of Brady Leman


The Angler

Brady Leman is typically Canadian - easygoing, fun, natural and straightforward. “I’m always up for adventure and love trying new things. Wait, this sounds like a dating profile. I can also be intense. I take training very seriously, I have high expectations for myself and work extremely hard to live up to those expectations...” says the winner of four World Cup races who still manages to find time to study business in spite of his busy training schedule.

He is an all around athlete. Besides skiing, Brady is also into mountain biking, golf, mountaineering and fishing. “I love being outside in nature. Training and competition for Ski Cross can be so time consuming and intense that I really need a break from the stress of competition, I turn to my hobbies for that, and it gives me a good break. Fishing definitely has a special place. Salmon fishing has a particular charm for me. It teaches you patience and dedication and these virtues are very important in skiing and life in general.”

Living a natural life is a quintessential part of Leman’s life philosophy. “You have to do things that you love and have as much fun as possible. I am so lucky that I figured out a way to make my childhood dream of being a professional skier come true. It also gives me some great opportunities for enjoying my hobbies off the hill,” says Brady who listens to country music, reads classical novels, watches comedies and action films and enjoys travelling.

Picture of Brittany Phelan


Fat Tire Flyer

Just a few seasons ago Brittany Phelan was racing through slalom and GS gates. Now she prefers to share her course with three other girls in ski cross races. “I’m generally a happy person, and always try and do things that make me enjoy life. So skiing is a perfect fit,” says the 26-year-old from Mont Tremblant in the Canadian province of Quebec.

When she is not skiing, she is racing mountain bikes: “It’s hard to say which sport I like more. I get a lot of the same feelings from riding my bike as I do from skiing, so the long summer months in between ski camps go by a lot quicker when I’m out riding my bike. When I’m not skiing, I’m biking everyday.”

When asked about her personal philosophy, she recalls her childhood. “Since I was 4 years old I wanted to go to the Olympics and be the best skier in the world. After competing in Sochi in Alpine skiing, I have bigger dreams for the future. I would like to qualify for the next two Olympics and be in medal contention,” confidently states the Canadian. Her favorite music artist is Michael Jackson, she enjoys Harry Potter books and her favorite place on the planet is Whistler, British Columbia although she comes from Eastern Canada. It is only to be expected from a true Canadian athlete who also posts funny Wacky Workout Wednesdays on Instagram with her teammate Kelsey Serwa.

Picture of Terence Tchiknavorian


Lone Wolf

Terence Tchiknavorian was born in the ancient papal city of Avignon, but has been living in Grenoble in the foothills of the French Alps. “Tchik” is a unique guy. “On the one hand I am a lonely boy. On the other I like meeting people who are interested in the same things and have the same passion as me,” he says about himself.

The 26-year-old lives sports: “I am doing a lot of sport, all the time. When I am not skiing, I do skateboarding, surfing, biking...”

Terence also loves to travel around the world and taking at least a three week vacation every year. He loves to combine his travelling with sports and often travels to the shores of the Indian Ocean to surf. Sri Lanka and Indonesia are his dream destinations. “This part of the year is very important for me. The season is very long and full of training and racing, so I need to get away to relax and unwind. Travelling to far away places works best for me so I can forget my everyday life.” In winter he prefers to stay close to the snowy mountains.

Just as the others, Terence also sees joy and pleasure as the main essences of life: “Finding pleasure is not always easy. That is when I focus my desire and give my best every time,” adds Terence who favors electronic and rap music and action movies. He says he can watch the same movie ten times.

See whole Elan Ski Cross team here.

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