Toronto-born Candace Crawford grew up skiing at Georgian Peaks Ski Club and is one of Canada’s most promising up-and-coming racers. Crawford ruled last year’s Nor-Am Cup circuit, claiming four of the five available women’s titles (overall, slalom, giant slalom, and alpine combined), along with a second place overall title in super G. On top of her Nor-Am success, Crawford was part of the dynamic group that placed second in the team event at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colorado.
We caught up with Candace recently while she was taking a break during training at Pitztal Glacier, Austria. She describes the training regime thus: “Early mornings, ski training all morning, then usually a nap in the aft, then dryland training—nothing too strenuous.” When we ask her about performance stress she shares the following: “I don’t tend to be a very stressed-out person, but before an event there are those nervous feelings and if I didn’t have them it would be weird. And it depends on the event. There may be stuff in the past that happened on a certain course so it may be a little more stressful leading up to that event.”
Example? “Last year at Aspen, the World Cup didn’t go the way I wanted. I was a little nervous going into that one. And so going into the Nor-Am [Cup, Burke Mountain] after that, I felt I needed to redeem myself.” And she did, placing first in giant slalom.
We ask her about the toughest courses, she gives us two, in ascending order: “Solden [Austria] is tough because of the pitch. People psych themselves out because that pitch is so long. But for me the toughest is Aspen because of the always-changing terrain. It starts off on a pitch and then goes into flats and there are so many rolls you have to be aware of. It’s so technical.”
Alpine is a sport with a very high crash-out rate. How does she deal with the risk? “A lot of it is a mind game,” she says. “And you have to just push it back.”
We anticipate another brilliant World Cup season from Canada’s women and men. And for those who want to keep the women top-of-mind, Alpine Canada has released a wall calendar—a collab between the Alpine Women’s team, Perry Thompson Photography, and Helly Hansen (who made the skin suits). The calendar aims to raise funds for the women’s 2018 Winter Olympics bid.
Read more stories like this in the new Mountain Life Ontario digital edition.