Olympian Brittany Crew on her route to recovery, and her return to the U Sports circuit
Top three finish at the Commonwealth Games, defending her shot put Canadian title in Ottawa, Brittany Crew was set to represent Canada in Toronto at the NACAC Championships.
After a foot injury in practice a week before the championships forced her to end her season prematurely, Crew remains positive and is working on her way back for the indoor season.
“All I could think about was that at least this didn’t happen in an Olympic year,” says Crew, who extended the Canadian record to 18.60 metres in 2018. “I decided that I would still attend the NACAC championships all weekend to cheer on my teammates and fellow women’s shot putters from other countries.”
The Mississauga-native is currently three weeks into her rehab, working on regaining strength in her ankle, for balance and lower leg muscles. With a great 2018 season and recovery going as scheduled, Crew is confident to return to form for the 2019 season.
One stop she plans on making before an important 2019 season is returning to York University, where she went to school and represented the York Lions. She’s the U Sports record-holder in the shot put, a mark she set in 2016 and is looking to surpass.
“Since World Championships is next October there is no real reason to rush back into things. I want to make sure I am fully recovered before I start throwing again,” Crew explained. “This is my last year of eligibility [in U Sports] so I thought it would be a good way to knock the rust off. The goal would to be able to compete by February, maybe even sooner.”
With Canadian universities already beginning to train for the indoor competition season, with inter-squad competitions beginning as soon as November and a typical January weekly meets, Crew is familiar with the U Sports environment.
Her return to U Sports also brings new additions, in the form of competition. The 2016 Olympian sees the growth of shot put in Canada, with talented athletes like Sarah Mitton of the Windsor Lancers (personal best of 17.18 metres) and Triniti Tutti (15.24m personal best, breaking Crew’s old OFSAA record of 14.86m) quickly joining the senior shot put ranks.
“I think it’s great to have these talented throwers on the rise. In the past couple of years, Canadian women's shot put has been lacking its depth in the senior category. With Taryn Suttie and Julie Labonte now retired, the event is in need with some new talent. Sarah and Trinity are both talented throwers and just so happen to train with me under the same coach [Richard Parkinson] on a daily basis,” Crew said.
Tokyo 2020 is just around the corner and for Crew, returning to the shot put circle with the York Lions is the first step. From there it’s about getting to competition form and being able to compete with the world’s best throwers.
“I must start by breaking the 19m barrier first. This is going to take a lot of focus for the next 2 years. The focus will be changes technically in my throw and strength levels in the weight room,” Crew says. “Moving towards Tokyo 2020, my only aim is to put myself in a position to be a medal contender.”