Snowboard Cross Olympian Canada Snowboard

Tess Critchlow

Tell us about you! Why and how did you get into your sport?

I was born in Prince George (but never actually lived there). I moved around a lot with my family, but would say Blue River BC, Big White ski resort and Kelowna all feel like home.

My family all switched over to snowboarding when I was two, we all learned together and fell in love with the sport. Both my parents, my brother and I would all compete in the Niel Edgeworth memorial banked slalom every year and some of the other SBX and Half pipe competitions when they first came to Big White. My brother and I competed in every discipline until things got “serious” and we both committed to SBX. I remember I was 14 when I decided to go all in and make this my career, becoming an Olympian was my dream.

What's a fun fact about you?

I love trying new things! Sports, food, travel locations, activities etc! I love anything outside and in the mountains! I have fallen head over heals for snow biking the past few winters, nothing had come close to snowboarding but on a beautiful pow day a snow bike adventure comes pretty close. I’ve also recently put some time into slack lining and wake surfing for summer activities and have been trying to get good at skateboarding for a while now but I’m not as naturally gifted in that one as some might think.

What are your goals and aspirations?

I would like to be a dominant figure within my sport and I have some “outcome” goals with that, including the 2022 Winter Olympics. But more importantly I want to find my mental edge and find a good headspace to push my physical limits. I would also LOVE to do more big mountain riding and snow biking and it will be something I prioritize more in the upcoming winters.

What has been your biggest challenge throughout your career? How did you overcome it?

I think the mental side of sport, it’s not a common conversation but every athlete I’ve opened up to has felt similar struggles. It is becoming more common knowledge that the mental side is so important to be successful but I still find it challenging knowing exactly how to “work out” my brain and get it in tip top condition! But seeing a Counsellor, reading and pushing my mental growth have all helped.

Injury is a part of life and sport - how did you deal with yours?

I’m currently recovering from a full ACL, partial MCL and meniscus rupture. I had surgery and everything went really well and I’m on a good path for my return. This, of course, has its own set of challenges but it has made me hungry to get back at it and see my sport from a different view. Surrounding myself with supportive friends and family has helped a lot and giving myself achievable goals along my road to recovery has been an important part of the process.

What gets you the most excited about Stoko?

I admire people/companies that push the norms and think outside the box, and that’s what I believe Stoko is doing. They are a group or professionals from all different fields with a shared love for sport and the goal to help athletes achieve their dreams with healthy bodies; that’s definitely something I want to be apart of! Plus this is something NEW!

Do you have any pre-competition rituals?

Honestly I keep things pretty flexible, our locations, timing, schedule, conditions etc are always changing so I don’t have anything set in stone. I do have a playlist I’ve titled “I freaking love these chips” that I shuffle through to get me pumped up.

Favourite snack before/after a sweat session?

SMOOTHIES!! I crave smoothies after a workout or training session.

I brought my mini blender on tour one year for smoothies but forgot about power conversions. So at a race in Russia, I excitedly turned it on but it sparked, made an awful sound and burnt a black spot into the counter of our kitchen and the whole apartment smelt burnt for a couple days... whoops.

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Career Highlights:

• 2018 - 9th PyeongChang Winter Olympics (top Canadian result)

• 7 top 10 World Cup finishes

• 3 team event Podiums (top 3)

• 3x National Champion

• 2x Jr. National Champ

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