Money may thwart Paralympic dreams of local snowboarder

byJenniffer Wardell
Oct 18, 2010 | 883 views | 0 0 comments | | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NICOLE ROUNDY said her group may have trouble getting to compete in the paralympics for financial reasons. The group is based in Park City but has members from Davis County.

NICOLE ROUNDY said her group may have trouble getting to compete in the paralympics for financial reasons. The group is based in Park City but has members from Davis County.

BOUNTIFUL — Sometimes, personal skill isn’t enough to get you to the top of that mountain.

For Bountiful native Nicole Roundy, a childhood cancer survivor, above-the-knee amputee, and medal-winning snowboarder, it’s money that may end up keeping her and her fellow athletes away from the slopes. Though she dreams of getting adaptive snowboarding into the 2014 Paralympics, the loss of their sponsor has left Roundy and her teammates focusing now on how they’re going to get to their next event.

“Money is so tight, and on the disabled side of things it’s even tighter,” said Roundy, who also works as a sleep technician to help pay for her snowboarding. “As for adaptive athletes, we’ve never had a budget. Everything we’ve done up to this point has been on our own pretty pennies.”

Roundy’s “we” includes herself and the three other athletes she travels and trains with. The group includes Dan Monzo, a New Jersey native and a below-knee amputee rider; Jodie Thring, an Australian standing tetraplegic snowboarder ranked No. 3 in the world at Nationals; and Joe Douglas, a wheelchair snowboarder who is highly ranked in both slalom and GS (a snowboarding event).

The group, which is based out of Park city, has set up a website in order to help raise funds for training and competition. Any help is welcome at http://adaptivesnowboardfund.chipin.com/competition-costs-for-disabled-snowboarders.

“We were hoping that we’d have enough funding to pay for the coaching and opportunities needed to get to the major events this year,” said Roundy, citing a list of competitions that includes the USASA Snowboard Nationals and the X Games in Colorado, international WSF events in Canada and Italy, and the Burton US Open in Vermont.

After a previous season budget she described as “non-existent,” however, and this year’s total absence of a sponsor, getting on the slopes at all will be a challenge.

“When we found out there was going to be even less funding than last year, it kind of put a damper on things,” she said. “Even if we could just come up with the funds for training, or one of the events, it would make such a difference.”

Roundy points to her teammate Thring as an example of just how much of a difference it makes.

“She didn’t have a lot of support in Australia. Before coming here she’d never had a chance to train steady with a coach, which meant that she didn’t have the physical strength to do an event,” she said. “But after getting the chance to train, she ended up third at Nationals. She’s never ranked that high before.”

Roundy’s own leg needs training in order to be prepared for competition, and all of the athletes need resources like transportation and equipment to get them to the competition in the first place.

If the group wants to make their Paralympic dreams come true, they’ll need the chance to take a few of those earlier steps first.

“If you’ve never had the opportunity to compete, how well do you think you’re going to perform without knowing what you’re getting yourself into?” she said. “You need a base if you’re going to perform at this level.”

jwardell@davisclipper.com

Read more:Davis County Clipper – Money may thwart Paralympic dreams of local snowboarder

Life as I know it.

I wish I had something motivational to say. Something to make everything in life seem ok.

This is not one of those posts.

I’m lucky to have a job at all. This I know, but its instability has taken its toll. Don’t get me wrong, I love my new job in Park City, I just wish I could work consistently enough to have an income that can support my endeavors, continued education, and living expenses.

Harsh reality keeps telling me thats too much to ask. I sincerely appreciate everyone that was willing to donate even $1 to myself and the other athletes hoping to train in Park City this season. Out of 800 people I raised a mere $165. I have $3000 dollars worth of very nice outerwear gathering dust.

Thanks to the extremely late notice from our sponsor, there just wasn’t enough time to do anything more drastic. I hope disabled snowboarding will be more impressive one day, but I’ve running out of time and resources.

Dreams aren’t supposed to be easy. If you follow yours I can guarantee you will get tired of hearing the word “NO.” I can also guarantee you will feel guilty for wanting something. You will get discouraged, you will wonder why you even bothered, and you will attempt to give up.

Some days you will be grateful, and on others you will wish you had never been introduced to the sport. Somedays you will wish you didn’t have a permanent medical condition. Other days, you’ll know that medicaid is better than your insurance.

One day you’ll get great news, and the next you’ll realize it was a joke.

On most days you will wish you lived in Canada with a system that supported you.

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