Olympic bobsledder Justin Kripps is in training once again, after spending the summer working with a personal trainer and participating in fundraising activities.
“Fundraising is a big part of an amateur athlete’s program” Kripps said.
Because of financial difficulties, many of the sponsors who had supported athletes in the 2010 Winter Olympics have cut back or eliminated their funding.
Others are shifting their focus to the upcoming 2012 Olympics.
Bobsleigh Canada has lost its major sponsor and as a result the athletes are required to come up with thousands of dollars in team fees to enable them to travel and compete in international events.
As well as trying to raise his own team fees, Kripps has also participated in various charity events over the past few months including 5 Hole for Food, a national food bank fundraiser, several charity golf tournaments, and supporting Trek for MS.
While he has been working on fundraising, Kripps said his main focus is on training and performance.
Last week, Bobsleigh Canada held its final pre-season testing camp in Calgary.
He obtained personal bests in several of the tests and will take on his second season as a pilot. His coaches are also pleased and confident Kripps can move up in the rankings.
Fellow Olympic teammate, Jesse Lumsden, who starred with Kripps in a recent episode of the television show Mantracker is also looking forward to a good season. Lumsden will also crew for Kripps in the four-man bobsleigh event.
“Having Jesse push for me is huge,” Kripps said. “He broke several records in testing camp last week.”
After only one season in the driving position, Kripps is ranked third in Canada and 35th in the world.
This year, his goal is to learn the tracks in Europe and to garner enough points to get a third Canada sled onto the World Cup circuit.
Races are also scheduled for Whistler, Calgary and tracks in the United States.
Kripps, 24, is still a junior in bobsleigh. He wants to improve on his fifth-place finish at the World Junior Championships last year during his first year driving.
He is seeking sponsors and would appreciate support from Okanagan businesses. Options include placement of promotional logos on uniforms and equipment the team uses.
For further information about Kripps’ progress, visit www.justinkripps.ca.