Tuesday, December 18, 2001 - Perspective
Junior National Team Update: Sprinting in Silver Star

- By: Chandra Crawford

Junior National Team Update

Am I ready? Am I ready?
I have trained all summer for this!
Am I shaking? Am I steady?
Once again I have to piss.

My skis are ready, they will be fast,
Now in the incubator they hide
(Good 'ol "Big White" with heat on full blast)
Hot skis melt the cold outside.

At the start I excitedly wait,
A split second of stillness: deafening.
I hear the command "racers in the gate"
Then "Go!" and my heart is pounding.

I kick with power to glide and hiss,
And poles find purchase in powder.
No time to think about standings and FIS,
As the roar of the crowd grows louder.

And now she's breathing down my neck,
Wind being chased by thunder.
Around a corner and a shoulder check,
Hill of opportunity just yonder.

At the bottom this climb is my Everest,
Though just a forbidding little mound,
Cheering rises like a tempest,
And we ski through stormy sound.

I persevere like the villain "Shredder"
But here at the top I go down!
If I'm up fast I think I can get her.
Like a Ninja Turtle layin' the smackdown.

I attack the descent: push hard tuck low.
'Round the corner into the straightaway.
With pedal to the metal I crank the tempo,
I'm catching her on this speedway.

Nearing the end, almost side by side,
Can she hold those few inches on me?
Before we know it we've crossed the line,
And we hug each other, friendly.

"You almost had me" she smiles and says,
"I know! What a race".
Now that it's over those inches are miles,
My smile hides the shock from my face.

They take my bib because I am through,
While she gets ready for the next one.
From the side of the trail, I will cheer with the crew,
A caged animal who longs to run.

Disappointment quickly passes,
For two new stars are out on the course,
To perform for us these winter dances,
While we cheer until we are hoarse.

Here on the snow we live for our dreams,
It's all in our minds where it starts.
We smile as we ski through life's winding streams,
With a little of Sof in our hearts.

Chandra Crawford stormed onto the cross country scene last year after a strong junior career as a biathlete. She qualified for the World Junior Championships last year on the basis of her strong sprint and posted top results. She now trains as part of the Junior National Team.

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