Saskatchewan speed skater tallies cost of Olympic dreams
Saskatoon teen's long and short track speed skating equipment totals around $5K
A 16-year-old Saskatchewan athlete says she hopes to one day compete in the Olympics, despite elite training costs already piling up.
Juliette Wheler is one of Canada's top junior speed skaters, but she said participating in her sport is already getting costly.
Currently her parents are helping her out financially, including the $5,000 she needs for all her equipment.
"The equipment for speed skating is quite expensive, but my parents are always willing," Wheler said. "Anything for sport, they say."
"For long track, my skates are about $1,800 because they're custom," she said. "They're custom made for my feet and then my suit is maybe $200."
Saskatchewan's speed skating association says there's a funding gap between athletes here and those in Quebec, who get a lot more financial support from government grants and other programs.
The association said it's working closing that gap, so athletes like Wheler can get more funding to pursue her sport.
Wheler said she plans to move to Calgary for training when she's done high school. She's currently one of the top-three ranked junior speed skaters in Canada.