Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Staggering economy takes a bite out of winter athletes' training

<p>&quot;The future of Canadian sport I think is in jeopardy right now,&quot;&nbsp; said speed skater Jeff Kitura. </p>

"The future of Canadian sport I think is in jeopardy right now," said speed skater Jeff Kitura.

Kitura and other top Canadian speed skaters gathered to talk about something everyone seems to be discussing these days -- the economy.

WinSport Canada -- formerly known as the Calgary Olympic Development Association -- has taken a financial hit. Its endowment funds took a major hit on the stock market, leaving it $800,000 short for oval funding, which could cut annual ice time available for athletes to five months from nine.

"That's our Olympic sequence, to be on the ice for nine months - we've been doing this for the last twenty years." says speed skating coach Marcel Lacroix. However, these are unprecedented economic times.

The Olympic Oval costs millions to operate each year, with much of that funding coming from WinSport. The funding shortage has already cost employees their jobs here and training fees for athletes are going up. Some athletes feel their drive for Olympic gold in 2010 is at risk.

"We have high medal expectations and how can we possibly attain those without having facilities to train on?" asked Kitura.

 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles