Chandra Crawford Calls End to Competitive Cross-Country Ski Season

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February, 5, 2013, Canmore, Alta (ISN) – The leader of the Canadian women’s cross-country ski squad, Chandra Crawford, has decided to take a break from competitive high-performance skiing to recharge her batteries for the final charge to the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014.

Physically and mentally exhausted from pushing herself hard in training and life, the 29 year old will take the remainder of the season off to give her body the rest it requires.

“My motivation and love of competing at the highest level in cross-country skiing has made so many dreams come true for me, but it can also cause me to go overboard,” said Crawford. “As Kenny Rogers said ‘You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away, know when to run.

“It’s really disappointing to end my season early, but with my ultimate purpose of showing up calm as a Buddhist monk, and bulletproof in Sochi next year, it’s an opportunity to prepare mentally and physically to execute my best training ever.”

After struggling to find her top form this season, the Canmore, Alta. resident made the decision with her coaches and support team heading into the World Cup test event on the Olympic course in Sochi, Russia, which Crawford competed in this past weekend.

“Chandra is a world-class person both on-and-off the playing field, and we are fully supportive of this decision to get her back home in order to get rested for the Olympic year,” said Tom Holland, high-performance director, Cross Country Canada. “Sometimes the demands on an athlete’s body are just simply too much, and the most effective form of preparation is to take a short break.”

In addition to winning her Olympic gold medal in Torino, Crawford has racked up seven World Cup medals in her career. The two-time Olympian balances her athletic life with leading Fast and Female, an organization which has inspired and empowered thousands of girls, ages nine-to-19, across Canada to live healthy, more active lives.

“It was really important for me to have a good run through on the Olympic trails in Sochi to aid in my preparation for next year, and I’m already excited to skate sprint on this 1.25 km course next year,” added Crawford. “Cross Country Canada has always celebrated our victories, and battled with us through the tough times, and this has been no different. I appreciate the support I have received from my coaches and teammates, our sport partners, and sponsors in this decision. This is the best thing for my body, and I will sacrifice part of this season in order to give everything I have to my Olympic performance next year.”

Crawford will continue training for the run to Sochi in May.

Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 55,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities, AltaGas, Statoil and Canadian Pacific – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2ten, Cross Country Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Cross Country Canada, please visit us at www.cccski.com.

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