Chandra Crawford, Olympic Gold Medalist & Founder of Fast and Female

Interview Series

In your words, how would you describe your notable achievement?

I won an Olympic Gold Medal for Canada in the 2006 Olympics in Cross-Country Skiing. I was 22 years old and totally focused on how much I love skiing and doing my absolute best. And you know what? When you do your best, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you can always hold your head high and have no regrets!

Who was one of your role models who served to inspire you?

My hero was an older ski racer named Sara Renner who was so down to earth, friendly and successful and I wanted to be just like her (and still do).

What is your current role/position?

Founder of Fast and Female.

Fast and Female is a Canadian charity on a mission to keep self-identified girls aged 8-14 healthy and active in sports. Founded in 2005 … Fast and Female believes in the power of positive sport experiences and role models to give girls leadership, teamwork and resiliency skills. 

 

For the girls! In comparison to boys, girls are less likely to get involved and stay involved in sports. By age sixteen 1 out of 3 girls who played sports drop out, versus 1 out of 10 boys the same age (Canadian Women and Sport Rally Report, 2020). The top 3 ways to reverse these trends are:

  1. engaging with the girls to identify how to create a sense of social belonging, 
  2. prioritizing their mental and physical health, 
  3. and providing relatable role models from within their own communities.

With these calls to action, Fast and Female strives to provide a safe space to explore new sports and physical activities. 

 
How Do We Do Strive to Accomplish This?

In our endeavour to foster lasting involvement in sports, we host national and local events and programs in collaboration with community partners and like-minded individuals. Fast and Female provides opportunities for powerful connection with REAL (Relatable, Empowered, Active Leaders) Role Models from within the girls’ communities. 

 

What are you reading? What are you watching? What are you listening to? 

Reading:

A Promised Land by Barrack Obama. What’s so inspiring about the latest Obama book is how he holds competing priorities in balance in his mind. I often want to simplify and make quick decisions to get out of the discomfort of all the complexity and uncertainty and the Obama book has inspired me to think about things differently. I’ll give you an example, at Fast and Female … I need to get funding from companies to pay for the events and programs we want to do for girls. But that leads to a lot of focus on the people giving the money and not on the actual needs of the girls themselves and how to best serve them. We have a great team covering these bases but I personally want to get to where our funding is aligned with our social change and antiracism goals, (where) we are working with the girls and listening to them to serve them in the best way possible, and (to) worry less about where the company logos go.

 

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi is a very impressive book by an absolutely amazing person. The personal anecdotes and mountain of research that goes into it is just staggering. It’s helped me to see many, many more ways in which racism informs everything in our society and with that awareness of how things work and awareness of my personal background of privilege I can take more action, more strongly, more often to combat racist policies and assumptions in myself and everywhere. Very inspiring. 

 

 

Watching:

The My Octopus Teacher documentary on Netflix (and) with my three little kids under the age of 5 I love watching Wild Kratts … or whatever silly Netflix show they are watching so we can chat about dragons or the plot or whatever. I LOVE the All Hail King Julian theme song from the Netflix show All Hail King Julian so don’t let me near your smart speaker because I will ask it to play that jam and I will dance like a crazy person no matter what.

 

 

Listening:

Calm app meditations and Tara Brach’s podcasts. I love learning and podcasts! I try to also let my mind wander when I’m walking the dog and just watch nature, but I often want to also hear some ideas while I’m out moving my body for the endorphins and mental health. The Calm app is super important to me. My mind feels completely different, like I’ve had a shower on my brain and feelings, after I listen to the daily 10-minute episode. If I can’t sleep I listen to the falling asleep things (on the Calm app) especially by Tara Brach who is on that show and also has great podcasts.