A Whistler Olympian short on funds is heading to Sochi to compete at the Winter Games thanks to the kindness of his community.
Halfpipe snowboarder Crispin Lipscomb needed $8,000 to get to the Olympics this year, and managed to raise more than $10,000 Wednesday night thanks to the generosity of friends and businesses in an around the mountain resort.
Lipscomb, who was born in Edmonton, competed for Canada in the Turin Olympics in 2006, but then took time off from competition to help support the wife and young daughter of a friend, Anthony Crute, who died in 2009.
After missing the 2010 Games in Vancouver, Lipscomb got encouragement from snowboarder Katie Tsuyuki, who he was coaching for Sochi 2014, to try for the team himself.
"Because I started late, I knew that was the real challenge, I knew that I was going to have to get top twenties, top fifteens, top twenties, every week, in and out, or it wouldn't be possible," he said.
But neither Lipscomb nor the other men's halfpipe contenders earned high enough results in world competitions to take part in the Own the Podium program, where funding is determined partly through international results.
So, following Tuesday's announcement of Canada's Olympic snowboard team, he and his friends held a fundraiser at Whistler's Longhorn saloon to cover his estimated $8,200 of expenses.
Within minutes, two local businesses each donated $5,000.
Lipscomb said he was very thankful.
"Now I get to bring my coach for a week to Switzerland. That's what I get to do, it looks like," he told CBC News.
"So we're going to get on this process and move towards that goal of the Olympic medals."
"I want to do the best runs I've ever done of my life in Sochi," he told CBC's Edmonton AM radio show Wednesday.
"It might be the last couple of chances I get to really play with the full throttle."
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