CANMORE, Alta. – A pair of ski boots designed to control pain may be one key to Chandra Crawford’s bid to return to Olympic cross-country skiing glory.
The young skier from Canmore created Canadian elation at the 2006 Turin Winter Games, stunning more experienced rivals with a 1.1-kilometre dash to a sprint gold medal.
She stood atop the podium and belted out the national anthem, a clip that remains on YouTube, attracting about 137,000 hits.
However, times have changed, and one of Canada’s top winter athletes must now overcome injuries – and a year off the World Cup circuit – in order to simply qualify for next year’s Vancouver Olympics.
In a recent phone interview from Ramsau, Austria, she said that part of her solution lies in her unpublicized journey to this European resort town in the country’s northeast, where Fischer, the ski manufacturer that sponsors Crawford, is doing research for her custom footwear.
She needs boots for skate skiing that will not aggravate her peroneal tendons, which curve behind the ankles.
“My problem is pain on my ankle bones,” she explained. “It seems that after all of this powerful skate-ski sprinting over the past 10 years … this tendon jumps up onto the ankle bone.”