Sara Renner (CAN), 2006 Olympic medalist in the team sprint and 3rd in the individual sprint at the 2005 World Championships in Oberstdorf, shifted gears after the 2006 Olympic season to take a break and have a baby with her husband, the now-retired top alpine skier Thomas Grandi. We recently had a chance to interview Sara to ask her about motherhood and her future plans.
Sandra Spitz: Sara, your baby girl Aria was born in February. Did everything going well and are you enjoying motherhood?
Sara Renner: Yes, Aria is a healthy and happy girl and the birth was harder than winning an Olympic medal but the reward was even better. I really enjoyed my pregnancy and being at home in Canmore. I skied up until the day she was born but for the love of skiing not for training. We had great snow here and I seldom get to enjoy the Canadian winter. Motherhood is a lot of fun and I laugh even more in my life now.
Sandra Spitz: What have you been doing besides being a mom in the last year?
Sara Renner: Last summer, while I was pregnant, I helped manage my parents’ backcountry lodge: Mount Assiniboine Lodge. Also, I have been doing some work with an amazing Canadian environmental agency to encourage winter athletes to take responsibility for our carbon emissions from air travel by buying carbon offsets. For more information, check out http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Climate_Change/play_it_cool.asp
Sandra Spitz: Your plan is to make your comeback in the Cross-Country World Cup next season. When will we see you there for the first time and what are your goals for the upcoming season?
Sara Renner: My first world cups will be those at the end of January in Canmore. I will race domestically until then. It’s hard to have goals this year because I am a new women and a new athlete. My training has gone very well and I am closer than I expected to my benchmarks but it’s hard to know how I will be compared to the rest of the world.
Sandra Spitz: How do you manage your training together with motherhood and did you have to change your training schedule from before?
Sara Renner: I have been very well supported by my husband Thomas and family living in Canmore plus neighbors who always want to baby-sit. My priority is my family and it combines well with training. It might be difficult when we hit the road after the World Cups in Canmore but I don’t think I will be bored in my hotel room! I had some really good advice from my doctor and that was to not run after Aria born and while I am nursing because the ligaments in my hips will be really loose and can get stretched. I have been roller skiing and biking and uphill hiking. I have a website where you can follow my progress at www.sararenner.ca.
Sandra Spitz: The highlight of the upcoming season is the Viessmann FIS Tour de Ski performance by Craft Sportswear. What do you think about this competition series?
Sara Renner: I can’t wait to do this event. I won’t compete in it this year because it would be quite the introduction to the world cup but it will be one of my major goals in the future. It is good to mix things up on the circuit.