Holly Crawford

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Pic: Sean Radich
Age: 23
Nationality: Australian
Sponsors: Smith, Dakine, Rossignol

Recent Results:
1st European Open Halfpipe 07
2nd Place in FIS World Cup Overall for season 06/07
FIS World Cup Halfpipe podium placings including: –
2nd Stoneham, Canada
3rd Lake Placid, Canada
2nd Calgary Canada
1st Furano, Japan
2nd Bardonecchia, Italy

 

Tell us a bit about how you got started with snowboarding.

I started skiing when I was about three years old. My family would go to the snow each year for a week or two and, being the youngest of three, I would be thrown into all day ski school while the rest of the family would charge around the mountain.

In 1995, when I was big enough to charge around with the best of them, I attended SCECGS Redlands winter campus . It was basically a trial for what would become Snowy Mountains Grammar school. For ten weeks, I and a number of other students boarded in Jindabyne, skiing in the morning and attending classes in the afternoon.

As it was the longest period of time I had ever spent at the snow I decided (with the help of numerous friends) that I would try snowboarding for the last week or so of the camp. I fell in love instantly, or at least, as soon as the bumps and bruises had subsided and I could make it down the mountain without falling over!

I continued ski trips with the family every year, skiing and snowboarding until eventually I threw in the skis and proceeded to become the only snowboarder in my family!


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Holly with Andrew Burton in South Korea. Pic: Olympic Winter Institute of Australia

How did you decide to start riding competitively?


I didn’t really ‘decide’ to ride competitively; in fact it was more like pot luck or a coincidence. I had been a ski racer when I was younger but had never considered doing so on a board, in fact I didn’t even realise it was possible.

A few years after deciding that snowboarding was my thing, I was having lessons in Perisher Blue like a good little punter when my instructor asked if I had ever been in the halfpipe, to which I replied “the what?” We went to this so called ‘halfpipe’ and it seemed I had a knack for it!

That summer the same instructor called to ask if I would like to attend the junior world snowboarding championships in Grindvalwald, Switzerland! It sounded like great fun to me and my loving parents decided it could be a good experience, so off I went to Switzerland for my first competitive experience.

What is life like on the World Cup circuit?

Life on the world cup circuit is many things – exciting, tiring, enjoyable, boring, scary, but most of all it’s an experience.

You must meet so many people along the way, what is their perception of Australian snowboarding?

When the National team started in 2002 no one really noticed us, we slipped under the radar you could say. But since our humble beginnings we have managed to become a part of the community and have made many friends along the way!

With such a lot of time spent on the road, which countries stood out for you this winter?

Korea and Japan were big ones for me as I had never actually made it to that part of the tour in the past, due to injuries. Korea was fascinating and Japan was just wonderful. Also returning to the Olympic village in Bardonecchia was interesting to say the least!

In between all the competitions do you get much time to go off and explore all the wonderful places you visit?

Some places yes but others no, it really depends on things like location, transport and how many hours sleep you have managed to get in between travel and competition!


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Pic: Olympic Winter Institute of Australia

How much time do you get back home in Australia?


Never enough, but a couple of months at least.

What do you miss most when you are away?

The sun, the beach, friends, family and not having to live out of a bag! Home…

Any top travel tips?

Never travel with a snowboard, always travel light, and never assume your bags will be at the other end when you land!

So you have had a super successful season, what with winning the Burton European Open Halfpipe, and finishing runner up on the FIS World Cup Halfpipe. Is this a result of changes in training, attitude or have the stars just aligned in the right spot for you?

All of the above I suppose, I decided to just take it really easy and enjoy myself. Although I was following a competitive circuit I didn’t make competition the priority of my season, I decided to sit back and enjoy the ride rather than take on the responsibility and pressure of being the driver.

You have competed whilst injured several times over the last year or so – your pelvis injury at the Olympics and more recent broken ribs. How do you keep going through that?

One of the many things I have acquired during my years of snowboarding is a fairly high pain threshold. I’ve also found that being injured is a great incentive to stay on your feet!

The Olympics must seem like a distant memory now – how was the Olympic experience for you? Are you aiming for Vancouver 2010?

My unfortunate incident three days before the Olympic competition meant that I spent the remainder of my Olympic experience fairly drugged up, hence it was all a bit of a blur. But over all it was a fantastic experience so yes, I am aiming for 2010 in the hope that this time I might have better luck!

From the last year or so what achievement are you most proud of?

I am most proud of just making it through a season without any ‘major’ injuries and discovering what it is I am capable of when in one piece. I learnt more through my failures than any of my victories.

It has not escaped my attention that you have just featured in a couple of Aussie mags, does it feel good to be getting some recognition/coverage?

It’s great to be recognised, but also just to get out there and show others that it’s possible.

Outwith the associated press, not many people would know that two of Australia’s female snowboarders have had a VERY successful season. Does it frustrate you that there is not more publicity and/or support for winter sports in Australia?

It is unfortunate that there isn’t more support for all the winter sports programs. Getting our stories out there is not only good for us and what we are trying to achieve, but also great for the younger generations who might have ambitions to follow in our footsteps.

There has been a bit of a ‘revolution’ in the women’s snowboarding scene ie events and product etc. Has this contributed to your progression in any way?

Women are definitely getting more recognition than ever before. Snowboarding is a very progressive sport and this type of revolution is happening within the snowboarding community every day. It is this type of support that helps to push both men and women to achieve more within our sport and keep us on our toes.

Any new tricks you want to add to your repertoire?

There are always new tricks to learn and old ones to perfect! It’s just a matter of not getting ahead of yourself and not forgetting the simple things!

Would your perfect riding day be a bluebird day with two feet of fresh pow, a beautifully set out out park or a perfect pipe?

None of the above. It would be a bluebird day on an empty mountain with four feet of fresh pow and great friends.

When life is not focused on snowboarding, what do you do in your down time?

Relax, soak in the vitamin D on the beach that I miss all year, eat copious amounts of seafood and catch up with friends.

Any favourite riders?

Anyone that gets out there and just has a great time, you should never forget why you started something and always finish it!

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

Always go to the toilet before a long trip!

Anyone you want to thank – sponsors etc?

OWAI and the AIS, Rossignol Snowboards, Dakine, Smith eyewear, my parents and Ben Wordsworth for putting up with me and everyone else that has helped me along the way.

 

 

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