Chandra Crawford: All About the Training Group

20 January 2012 17:32
Perianne Jones and Chandra Crawford
Perianne Jones and Chandra Crawford -

Canadians Chandra Crawford and Perianne Jones teamed up to place third in the World Cup team sprint in Milan, Italy on Sunday, joining Americans Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins on the podium. The event marked the first time Canadians and Americans have shared a World Cup podium in cross-country skiing.

Crawford has enjoyed a resurgence this year, re-establishing herself as one of the top sprinters in the world. The 2006 Olympic champion in the freestyle sprint struggled through several years marred by injury while trying to adapt to changes in the format.

Jones, a veteran of the Canadian National Team, climbed onto the podium for the first time in her career, and now is a threat to advance out of the quarterfinals in individual sprints.

FasterSkier talked with Crawford immediately following Sunday’s race in Milan.

Chandra Crawford: It’s all about the training group!

FasterSkier: All about the training group?

CC: Yaa…that’s the whole deal for my season this year, I just got inspired by my American friends to really go for it. I trained harder, I trained more, raced more, ran more, and so my year’s been going better than ever. Top-10 in the last four sprints, that’s an unprecedented run of consistency, so I’m pumped.

FS: And you think this is just all the work paying off?

CC: Yeah. I never trained a ton and I always kind of rode the fast twitch and the snow feel, and things worked out. But sprints got longer and girls got fitter and I got injured, and this has been a long process of rebuilding to this point and then surpassing.

FS: It must feel pretty good to see it all paying off?

CC: It’s good, yeah! It’s funny how much fear I had around hard training. I had one or two friends overtrain, and think well I don’t want to do that, that looks horrible! It can make us conservative.

FS: And what about today? It looked pretty intense out there, to say the least.

CC: It was, but it was SO FUN! I love skiing in a group, I love icy fast snow, I love Italy! Thank goodness we made it through. Peri and I had the last time.

FS: I know, the only lucky loser out of your heat.

CC: Snuck in there! Thank goodness! I really was gunning…I was going to be happy with anything 5th or better. So that was really cool, and our coaches, they really believe in us. Eric [DeNys] was like, “we’re going to that flower ceremony!” And we’re also lucky we have a three-person sprint relay team, so whenever there is a sprint relay, we can draw from Peri, Dasha and I. I’m only on it half the time, because we have a good group of girls.

Read the rest of the interview at: