Junior Nordic racers from throughout BC and Alberta got the chance to ski with their Olympic heroes yesterday at Silver Star Mountain Resort, at the “Fast and Female” event. The brainchild of Chandra Crawford, a National Team member from Canmore who is training up at Silver Star for the upcoming Viessmann World Cup races at Sovereign Lakes, this event brought together junior racers from nearby Nordic clubs and others as far away as Kamloops, BC.
“Where are all the girls?” is a question that the female members of Canada's National Nordic team were curious about. Crawford explains, “when we all start out in the Jackrabbit programs, the number of boys and girls competing is almost the same. As we go up the competitive ladder, a lot of the girls seem to drop out. I organized this event to encourage younger female skiers in Nordic clubs to come out and spend some time with us.”
Chandra posted her invitation on the Cross Country Canada website and the response was phenomenal. Forty-nine girls ranging in age from eight to eighteen showed up to ski not only with Crawford, but her teammates Sara Renner, Dasha Gaiazova, and Madeleine Williams. Crawford took some of the older girls rode Silver Star's Summit chairlift so that they could give them some tips on a fast, adrenaline-fuelled descent down to the Village. “Going fast on the downhills is one part of Nordic racing that can intimidate girls,” Crawford says. The younger skiers played some Nordic ski games, skating around an obstacle course that was set up in the Village. Later, all of the girls were treated to an inspirational talk over hot chocolate and cookies at Silver Star's National Altitude Training Centre. All of the participants were given autographed posters and t-shirts which, Crawford hopes, 'will inspire the next generation of Nordic races to pick up the torch from the women on the team right now.”
Come out and watch Chandra and her Canadian teammates competing in Silver Star's Night Sprints Dash For Cash on December 6. Visit www.skisilverstar.com for all the details.