SOCHI, Russia — Marielle Thompson heard a voice, someone calling "inside," up high on the course in the women's ski-cross final at the Winter Olympics.
It was her Canadian teammate, Kelsey Serwa.
Thompson gave Serwa a little space on the first turn. The four-woman final on Friday featured the two Canadians, Anna Holmlund of Sweden and France's Ophelie David.
"We definitely try to help each other," said the 21-year-old Thompson, who is three years younger than Serwa. "I'm not going to cut her off. That's just how we went the whole way down."
She created space for a teammate, and soon they were sharing prized space on the podium. Thompson and Serwa went one-two for Canada and Holmlund took the bronze. Canada won four freestyle skiing gold medals at these Olympics, and it went one-two in the men's and women's moguls.
Serwa qualified for the final first. When Thompson won the second semifinal, their families exchanged congratulations in the area behind the interview area.
Thompson explained her race strategy. She was asked if it was routine to give up some space inside.
"With our teammates," she said. "You wouldn't do it for anyone else, I don't think."
In the last three years, Serwa hurt her back and suffered two torn anterior cruciate ligaments.
"Last year, I thought about stepping away after I blew [out] my knee again," she said. "Once that came into my mind, I got really sad and I realized I wasn't ready for retirement yet."
There were the usual mishaps and crashes you see in a ski-cross race. There were serious spills in consecutive quarterfinals on a foggy, rainy afternoon at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, taking out Anna Woerner of Germany and Stephanie Joffroy of Chile.
They both needed medical attention. Woerner had a knee injury, according to German media reports, and the Chilean was believed to have a lower-body injury.
At first glance, the often crazy nature of ski cross seems at odds with the calm, measured Thompson, who was a figure skater as a child. But she fell in love with the event almost immediately.
"It's just so fun racing against other people, just like when we were little, racing your friends down the ski hill," she said. "It's just the most fun you can have on skis."