a.k.a. Night train
In a career that has already spanned more than a decade of representing Australia at the highest level, in 2011 Crawford had her best ever year, winning Gold at the World Championships in La Molina, Spain, and finishing the season as number two on the World Cup standings.
Crawford has been an Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) scholarship athlete since the Snowboard Halfpipe program’s inception in 2002.
She made her World Cup debut at Whistler, Canada, in December 2002, where she placed 12th. At her first ever World Championships in early 2003, Crawford placed 14th in Kreischberg, Austria.
Crawford started the 2003/04 World Cup season in impressive style, producing a personal best eighth placing in halfpipe in Valle Nevado in September 2003, then rode to another top ten result with a ninth in Stoneham, Canada.
Then came the first of the series of injuries that have disrupted her career.
Training in North America in December 2003, Crawford tore her ACL ligament, missing the rest of that season, then a separated shoulder injury forced her out of the entire 2004/05 season.
Riding in her first World Cup since returning from the shoulder injury – a 20 month layoff – Crawford joined the list of Australian skiing and snowboarding World Cup medallists when she claimed bronze in the opening event of the 2005/06 season in Valle Nevado, Chile, in August 2005.
All augured well for her chances in the Torino 2006 Games.
But two weeks later on her 22nd birthday, while training for the Olympic halfpipe in Bardonecchia, Crawford fell heavily while practicing her new McTwist trick. Initial fears that she had sustained a significant injury were allayed after x-rays and an examination by Australian Olympic team doctor Peter Braun, but the injury prevented her training for several days.
Although she took her place in the Olympic field, her riding was severely hampered, and she ended in 18th place in qualifying, missing a place in the final.
In 2006/07, Crawford made strong steps as an athlete when she not only claimed the first victory of her career, but also collected five other podium places in finishing second on the standings to Swiss rider Manuela Laura Pesko. The Sydney rider missed the podium just twice in eight events, and was never lower than fifth on the results list, with the gold medal coming in the third event of the season, in Furano, Japan.
Just when Holly had established herself as one of the leading riders in the world, Holly missed the 2007/08 World Cup season, while rehabilitating a damaged shoulder that she sustained trampoline training in August 2007.
Returning to competition in 2008/09, the highlight of the season for Holly was riding to silver in Gangwon, Korea, in the process collecting Australia’s first snowboard halfpipe World Championship medal.
Holly Crawford ended the 2009/10 season with consecutive World Cup snowboard half pipe victories, ending the year in third place on the Cup standings, despite contesting just three of the seven events on the calendar.
The result was some consolation for what she saw as a disappointing result at the 2010 Winter Olympics, where she finished eighth in the Olympic Final, still a highly creditable performance.
Ever since, she added eight more top-3 results to her belt including three wins on the World Cup tour as well as Silver at the 2013 FIS Snowboard World Championships seeming to be well-prepared fro another shot at the Olympics.
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