Alpine Superwomen: Candace Crawford & the Canadian Women’s Team

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.

 

Ski World Championship Vail Beaver Creek 2015-- Candace Crawford (CAN) in slalom. Beaver Creek (USA) February 14 2015 (Photo/ Marco Trovati-Pentaphoto)
Candace Crawford in the slalom, 2015 FIS Alpine World Championship, Vail/Beaver Creek. Photo: Marco Trovati-Pentaphoto/Courtesy Alpine Canada.

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.

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Ski World Cup 2015-2016. Candace Crawford (CAN) slalom gigante. Soelden 24-10-2015 (Photo/ Marco Trovati-Pentaphoto)
Candace in the GS, World Cup, Solden, 2015. Photo: Marco Trovati-Pentaphoto/Courtesy Alpine Canada.

 

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.

 

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Candace in a still from the Canadian Alpine Women’s 2016 calendar by Perry Thompson Photography/Courtesy Alpine Canada. Click here to purchase the calendar and help support the Canadian Alpine Women’s Ski Team.

 

IMG_3781_ CREDIT_Alpine Canada Alpin
L to R: Valérie Grenier, Laurence St. Germain, Erin Mielzynski, Marie-Michèle Gagnon, Marie-Pier Préfontaine, Mikaela Tommy, Candace Crawford . Perry Thompson Photography/Courtesy Alpine Canada. Skin suits by Helly Hansen.

 

Perry Photography.
L to R: Marie-Michèle Gagnon, Mikaela Tommy, Marie-Pier Préfontaine, Candace Crawford, Erin Mielzynski, Valérie Grenier. Perry Thompson Photography/Courtesy Alpine Canada.

 

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L to R: Marie-Pier Préfontaine, Mikaela Tommy, Marie-Michèle Gagnon, Candace Crawford, Erin Mielzynski, Valérie Grenier. Perry Thompson Photography/Courtesy Alpine Canada. Click here to purchase the calendar.

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