A Valentine’s with 6 Rings for Crawford and Green
It wouldn’t be Valentine’s day without some special atmosphere, even at the Olympic Games, where the full focus is on performing at one’s best, there is place for some good old romanticism. The biathlon family is not immune to that either, so to celebrate the day of lovers, we met with Canadian Rosanna Crawford and Brendan Green, who got engaged just ahead of Pyeongchang 2018.
“It is really special,” explained Crawford as we sat down on one of the rare quiet days in the Olympic biathlon schedule , here in South Korea. “Brendan and I are so lucky! We have been officially together ever since before Vancouver. So these will be the 3rd Olympics we are together and it is incredible to share the ups and downs of our careers: we know exactly what it takes to get here and to come with the engagement adds that little bit that we know we can be happy no matter what.”
For both, this past weekend's sprints represented a difficult first taste of the Olympic competitions, but nonetheless, this did not harm their good spirit. Crawford performed very well on the pursuit, making up more than 30 positions to finish in 19th place, her best result at the Olympic Winter Games to date. Even if Green did not make the cut for the pursuit, his fiancé's result gave him motivation to stay positive for the upcoming individual.
It is clear, by the way they talk, that their mutual support is something they both rely on, for both their careers and lives.
“Three Olympics together with Rosanna is something unique and special, something to cherish for sure,” told us Green: “It has been a very tough year, especially for Rosanna, with her brother passing away in the Spring and one of my favorite biathlon coaches also passing away during the Summer. So 2018 has started off as a better year: Rosanna got the podium in Ruhpolding and now the engagement, so hopefully those are signs for better days and things to come.”
The two went on a short holiday break in Lake Louise before flying to South Korea; that is when the proposal happened.
“Brendan did the proposal…” said Crawford smiling broadly while giving a look to her future husband, “We had talked about it before, we have been together for 8 years, so it is something that has come up, obviously. But we did not want to rush it, we wanted to have it happening when our careers were winding down and I think we are coming to that point. It was really special: we had two nights in Lake Louise at the Fairmont Chateau, which was really special. Brendan proposed on the second day…”
No knee bending for the Question, but a creative way that still made Rosanna blush of joy when asked about it. “During the course of our relationship, Brendan has always made me little hand drawn cards with crayons over special occasions. Usually he draws what is happening in our lives, so he made a little book of our relationship and at the end he asked me to marry him… it was very special!”
Green did not overlook any detail, explaining that he had been planning to ask her hand since autumn, but he had to delay the day due to the ring not being ready.
“I got the ring forged in Canmore by the same goldsmith who made the rings for Rosanna’s parents and Rosanna’s sister and husband,” he explained: “So I knew that I wanted to get it done by this one goldsmith in Canmore: the ring has got the Three Sisters in there, those are the iconic mountains in Canmore, while the diamonds represent the night stars.”
“They are also five, which have a biathlon meaning,” added Crawford showing the details of the ring she was wearing on the left hand. But when Green told her that he had to insist so that the goldsmith put five little diamonds in there, she went speechless: she did not know.
The stars over the Three Sisters, however, do not only symbolize the biathlon targets, but the stars that they went looking at together on the night it all started.
“We got to know each other when I was still a junior in the national team and he was in the senior team,” Crawford said, “So we would see each other, but we were never on the same team or with the same coach, until 2009. But I think that only with the Olympics we were officially on the same team. We used to do rollerskiing trials for Canada and once Tom decided to have a party at his house at the end of the those. We were sitting by the bonfire, when Bren and I ended up going for a walk… we chatted, looked at the stars…”
“Then we ended up going to separate tours, he in the World Cup, I in IBU Cup, but we kept messaging a lot and when we came home for Christmas, he invited me for skiing: he offered me a hot chocolate, some cookies and… we made it official!”
Being a couple, but living on the tour, always travelling and training far from home, may not seem the most easy of combinations, but this has been the norm for them and therefore, explained Green, it never really was a problem: “The couple life for athletes is surely different, but I believe that Rosanna and I are very lucky, because we race on the same circuit and train together. We spend a lot of time with one another, so for us it is pretty easy… we understand each other well now and we know when to give the other space and when to stay closer.”
“It’s way better like this,” added Crawford: “I cannot imagine I could have made it this far without Brendan. He has been a huge part of my career, not only my life. I am so grateful we found each other and got passion about the same thing together. I actually think that the hardest part will be when we transition from sport and we won’t spend 12 hours together!”
On Valentine’s day, Crawford will be competing in the individual, a format that, as she said, she has never liked, but where she had her best results, including her World Cup podium, just last month in Ruhpolding. Whatever the outcome of the night competition, she knows she will have her man on her side as soon as she is be back to the Olympic Village.
As we parted ways after the nice chat that resulted in this interview, we saw them leaving together and immediately noticed the feeling of complicity and simple love that connected the two, even during a normal walk to the bus stop. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, allow us to be a little corny and wish you all to find or be with someone to share the same pure affection of Brendan Green and Rosanna Crawford.
Photos: C. Manzoni/NordicFocus