Roxanna Scott, Olympics editor at USA Today, wrote a great piece about U.S. up-and-coming junior skiers AJ Ginnis and Paula Moltzan that shows how crowdfunding can help boost an athlete's success. Ginnis and Moltzan both won medals at the junior world championships in Hafjell, Norway, in March. They also both raised more than $23,000 through RallyMe on the US Ski and Snowboard's dedicated funding platform, USSA.RallyMe.com. They both also shined at U.S. National Championships.
Ralliers (and brothers) Drew and Dan Duffy raised more than $50,000 last year. And this year, came back to raise more than $11,000. The results? Drew Duffy skied from 30th place to win the Super G at National Championships, besting some of the top US skiers in the country.
The scores of boosters who contributed to these athletes' campaigns made a difference.
Our developing and elite athletes don't get a blank check from the U.S. government to train, compete and one day represent us in the Olympic Games. They get significant support from the US Ski Team, for example, but there can still be a financial gap to fill - especially for those who haven't yet snagged a corporate sponsor. And those sponsors are dwindling - less than 1 percent of top Olympic athletes are fully funded.
That's where the crowd comes in. As family, friends, supporters and fans, we can step up and give a small amount - an emotional investment really - to boost an athlete's or team's goals.