Photo Source: Nordic Focus

Name: Cendrine Browne
Hometown: Prévost
Country: Canada
Age: 24
Sport: Cross Country Skiing
Years in the sport: 8

How did you get started in cross country?
I always cross country skied but it was in my back yard, with my family. We would pack a bag full of goodies and we would back country in the woods behind my house. We didn’t have good equipment but we had lots of fun. We played on skies. When I was fifteen, my PE teacher suggested I try to qualify for the Quebec Games. And I did qualify. The day before I left for the Games, my mom and her friend taught me how to skate (one of the styles in cross country skiing). I left the next morning with skate skis borrowed from my mom’s friend, classic skis, boots and a suit borrowed from my brother, a neck warmer borrowed from my sister… the only thing that was mine, was my tuque! It turned out I loved ski racing so much that I begged my mom to register me in a ski club. And that’s how I started!

Goals for this year?
Qualify for the Olympics and perform there, Top 20’s on the World Cup, be chosen on the World Cup Team

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I want to be training for the 2022 Olympics

Favourite athlete?
Jessie Diggins. She’s an amazing person and an amazing skier.

What has been your biggest challenge as an athlete and how did you overcome it?
When my parents got divorced when I was 17. I suffered from depression. That Summer, I couldn’t open my eyes. Training was impossible and I felt so tired all the time. I managed to overcome this when I saw that my mom was still smiling after all that happened to us. She was seeing the positive in everything. I thought to myself: If she can do it, I can too. So I did it for her. I climbed out of the hole that I was stuck in and started living again. That year, I got chosen to be on the Centre National d’Entrainement Pierre Harvey and the next year, I came 15th at Junior World Champs. Anything can happen!

The Best advice that you have been given?
Dream big (by the Olympian Chandra Crawford)

If you were not an athlete, what would you be doing?
I would be a full-time student.

Any hobbies?
School, drawing, knitting, outdoor activities

Favourite music?
It depends on the moment of the day. When I train, I like music with a beat and at night, when I’m tired, I prefer Indie rock.

Favourite book?
La vérité sur l’Affaire Henry Québert

What does a typical day of training look like?
I wake up at 8h30am, train from 9h30am to 11h30am, eat lunch, do homework, nap, eat a snack, do homework again, train again, cook supper, stretch and relax before going to bed at 10pm

Anything people be surprised to learn about you?
I played the piano for 8 years…!

What is the funniest thing has happened to you/others while training?
Once we were doing 15 seconds sprints and I turned my head towards my friend to tell her that the 15 seconds was lasting too long. But when I did so, I stopped looking infant of me, so I skied right of the road into the sand. Before collapsing, I ran on my skies, in the sand, but I was going too fast to even hope to catch myself. I went into a gliding flight, like Superman, and landed in the sand. Ouch! It wasn’t that funny right that instant but we had a good laugh afterward.

Any pre-competition rituals?
I visualize my race before warming up

Best movie and tv series?
Movie: Harry Potter, Series: Prison Break

Favourite food while training?

Results you’re most proud of?
26th place in the 30 km skate at Senior World Champs

What inspires you?
Seeing Canadian athletes perform internationally

Do you have a saying or motto you live by?
Never give up

What do you enjoy most about cross country?
The glide

Advise that you have for someone starting out ski racing?
Have fun!

What is the most crucial part of your training? Summer and Fall because that’s when we prepare for the season and do lots of hours and intensity.

Anyone you would like to thank?
Yes, I’d like to thank Alain Dionne (PE teacher who helped me start my career by telling me I could qualify for the Qc Games), Yan Gratton (my first real coach – swimming coach), Jean-Marc Éthier (triathlon coach), Rémi Brière (ski club coach), Godefroy Bilodeau (first training center skiing coach), François Pépin (ski coach that lead me to the Senior National Team), Louis Bouchard (my actual coach, who lead me on the World Cup circuit and hopefully to the Olympics), Charles Castonguay (actual physical prep coach), Christiane Trottier (my sports psychologist), Jean-François Pouliot (my biggest sponsor who continuously believes in me).

Find Cendrine Browne on social media:

Twitter: @Cendrine_Browne
Instagram: @Cendrinebrowne
Facebook athlete page: Cendrine Browne – Ski de fond