Murray already thinking of 2014

By STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

WEST VANCOUVER — Three weeks ago, Julia Murray went under the knife.

On Tuesday afternoon, despite constant pain throughout her body — particularly in her left knee — Murray was able to start in the women’s Olympic ski-cross event at Cypress Mountain.

And though she failed to get past the quarter-finals, the 21-year-old daughter of the late Dave Murray, one of the original Crazy Canucks, felt proud of herself for just making it to the starting line, and getting through the first heat.

“I’ve gotten physio twice a day (since the surgery), more than I’ve ever had in my life,” she said, after finishing fourth in the quarter-finals. “But it definitely paid off. To be here in front of all these people, so close to my hometown, is incredible.”

Murray, the No.-4 ranked female ski-cross racer in the world, crashed while training in Lake Placid, N.Y. on Feb.2, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, as well as the collateral ligament and the medial meniscus. She also suffered a deep bone bruise in her tibia and has another date with the surgeon March 4.

Murray admitted the knee caused her problems in both heats. In the round of 32, she almost crashed out, smacking her rear end on the snow, though she was able to finish second. In the quarters, the Whistler. B.C. native stumbled out of the starting gate, but managed to stay on her skies, and did another back seat, and finished fourth, failing to qualify for the semifinal.

But skiing in front of her friends and family, including her dad’s brother Craig, Murray said she will take a lot from the first-ever women’s ski-cross event.

“I’m so young. Sochi, 2014, here I come!” she said.

Another one of the Canadian team’s talented young ski crossers, Kelsey Serwa of Kelowna, B.C. looked as though she would cruise to the final, won by teammate Ashleigh McIvor, but faded shockingly in the semi. Serwa lead for almost three quarters of the way in her semifinal, but was passed by Karin Huttary of Austria and eventual bronze medallist Marion Josserand of France.

Serwa did come back to win the small final, and finish fifth overall.

“I did the best I could,” she said. “But when I was going up on the chair to the small final, I was thinking, ‘Oh crap, now I’ve got to wait another four years to get on that podium.’ ”

steve.buffery@sunmedia.ca

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