Olympic-calibre athletes win more funding in the Maritimes
Alexandra Duckworth crowdsourced to get to snowboarding events
Going for Olympic gold can cost a fortune, which is why athletes in the Maritimes are cheering for a new funding program unveiled in Halifax on Wednesday.
Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic announced four $100,000 grants for elite athletes.
The announcement coincided with Alexandra Duckworth’s qualifying run in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe in Sochi.
She didn’t advance to the finals, but Duckworth now has funding to train year round.
Fellow Olympic snowboarder Sarah Conrad joined hundreds of fans at a movie theatre in Halifax to watch Duckworth compete.
Conrad said the talent people see at the Olympics requires a full-time commitment from athletes.
“You can't just train in the winter. It's a twelve month training program and if you are not on it then you won't be on the big screen. You won't be in the Olympics,” she said.
Duckworth's journey to Russia wasn't an easy one. She used an athlete’s crowdsourcing website, Pursuit, to raise enough money to travel to world cup events.
Pursuit founder and Olympian Julia Rivard Dexter said they've raised over $340,000 for 30 athletes to date.
Dartmouth boxer Custio Clayton will also get funding from Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic .
“To be the best athlete and train full time, that's one of the big parts you need is like funding and this will help us in a great way,” he said.
Other recipients include: Geoff Harris, Jenna Martin, Luke Demetre, Michelle Russell and Prince Edward Island’s Mark Arendz.
The athletes said they love the attention the Olympics draw, they just want people to remember they need help in the off season as well.