The first North American to arrive in Sweden last week, Canadian Chandra Crawford came two days earlier than everyone else, starting her journey Wednesday in Östersund near the Norwegian border. There, she visited Canadian national-team technician Micke Book and his family, and rollerskied before making her way 460 kilometers north on Friday.
Up in Torsby, the home of Sweden’s famous ski tunnel, she worked out alongside U.S. Ski Team members Kikkan Randall, Liz Stephen, Holly Brooks, Jessie Diggins and Ida Sargent on Saturday. It was her first time on snow since training with the American women in Alaska at the North American Women’s Training Alliance in late June.
FasterSkier caught up with Crawford via email on Saturday following their tunnel session, which involved some equipment testing, according to tweets from Randall and Brooks. Crawford described the snow as smooth and enjoyed the feeling of getting some strides in. Later that day, the group picnicked outdoors before tuning into the Olympics.
On Monday, the five Americans and Crawford will get down to business with the Swedish women’s team during its two-week camp, which starts about 150 kilometers north in Sälen. They’ll later head back down to the ski tunnel in Torsby, according to Canadian women’s coach Eric de Nys, for more skiing with the Swedes.
While Randall and Stephen previously trained in Sweden with Anna Haag and her teammates, this marks the first large-scale joint camp between the different countries.
FasterSkier: When did you start planning for this trip? How did it come about?
Chandra Crawford: Like everyone who experiences the contagious enthusiasm of Kikkan and Liz, it’s not long before we are all swept up in the greatness and end up over here in Sweden. For me the balance between training with the American crew and doing good work back in Canada has been really great, and meeting up with these girls every second month is a real privilege. I’m grateful to all the support from CCC and the US team for this collaboration.
(Note: Crawford is the lone Canadian World Cup team member in Sweden. Perianne Jones recently got married near the team’s headquarters in Canmore, Alberta, and Dasha Gaiazova is training with the Pierre-Harvey National Training Centre in Québec.)
FS: What are you most excited for? What are some of your goals?
CC: I’m most excited for the excellent training with a big group of top international skiers and to take home good info from comparing my strengths, weaknesses and training style to the other girls.
FS: Where will you be staying?
CC: The camp is in Torsby and there’s also dryland happening in Sälen, which sounds like a wilderness kind of place.
Related: North Americans Off to Sweden | Randall and Stephen Tour Sweden (June 2011)
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Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.