Aspen skier Galena Wardle asks for funding help in chasing World Cup dreams
November 30, 2016
The better you get at ski racing, the more expensive it becomes. That's life for U.S. Ski Team member and Aspen native Galena Wardle.
The 18-year-old Aspen Valley Ski Club alumna is in her second season skiing for the U.S., having made the jump from the developmental team to the "C team" this winter. Unlike the funded "A team" skiers — think Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin — everyone else basically has to "pay to play" for their country.
For this reason, Wardle has set up a RallyMe campaign to help fund her quest to one day be on the World Cup circuit.
"To be able to get all the opportunities I can have with the team and traveling and going to all the races I need to move up in the ranks, I need the funding," Wardle said. "I also have to cover on my own the airfare and the baggage fees, which can be expensive, with all the skis we have to travel with. I usually travel with at least three ski bags."
Most U.S. Ski Team members have to pay an annual fee of $22,000, which goes toward coaching, training, lodging, and various other expenses. With airfare and baggage fees not included in that already daunting price tag, it's safe to say being a professional Alpine skier isn't an overly profitable gig.
Nonetheless, skiers like Wardle are driven to succeed despite often limited financial support.
"Just the joy of the sport. I love the adrenaline," Wardle said. "I love the atmosphere that comes with the sport, and I have huge goals in the sport that I want to reach."
Wardle will spend most of her season going between the Nor-Am and European Cup circuits, beginning with races in Panorama, British Columbia, in a few weeks. She is the reigning Alpine combined national champion and finished fifth overall in slalom for the Nor-Am Cup last winter.
To donate to Wardle's campaign, go to ussa.rallyme.com/rallies/4283.
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