11/06/2013 09:02 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST

B.C. freestyler uses social media to pay his way to Sochi

An Olympic hopeful from Penticton has successfully raised the money he needs to continue training for the Winter Games in Sochii next year.

Freestyle skier Matt Margetts is the second-highest ranked Canadian in his sport, and while some of his training is covered by the federal government’s Own the Podium program, he still needed to raise $20,000 to keep his Olympic dream alive.

Margetts turned to, an online crowdfunding website specifically created to help Canadian athletes secure the extra funding they need to compete. In just five days, Margetts had his $20,000.

"It was unreal,” says the 25-year-old. “I had never expected to have so much support and so many people in my corner from all over the world."

Tom Hall is a Canadian Olympian who won a bronze medal in canoe sprint at the 2008 Summer Games. He now advocates for athletes in their quest for financial support.

"Internationally if you don't have a big enough budget to pay for all the training and living and extra expenses you've got, you're just not going to compete," he says.

Hall notes that many Canadian Olympic hopefuls are forced to market themselves these days, when in the past they could just focus on training.