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SBD/September 1, 2011/OlympicsPrint All
USA Team Handball is "facing a $30,000 shortfall as it prepares to send its men's squad to the Pan American Games, and assuming the U.S. doesn't win, players might have to pay their own way to continue the Olympic qualification process," according to Brian Gomez of the Colorado Springs GAZETTE. A 20% reduction in funding this year from the USOC "has landed USA Team Handball on thin ice." Furthermore, the USOC denied a “proposal for a $100,000 travel stipend, as well as a request for the team to practice at the Olympic Training Center" before heading to Mexico for the PanAm Games in October. A second- or third-place finish in that tournament “would land the Americans in a world qualifier” next May for the ’12 London Games. USA Team Handball GM Steve Pastorino insists the team "will figure out a way to get there." He joked, “Maybe I’ll call Stephen Colbert and see if he’s ready to pick up another sport.” But Gomez reported "money is tight, with 12 players requiring airfare from Europe to Lake Placid, N.Y., for a training camp next month, coupled with the NGB slashing its staff by 70 percent in November and just now beginning fundraising at its Salt Lake City offices.” Pastorino “categorized the USOC funding cut as a ‘near-catastrophic blow,’ noting USA Team Handball is ‘a small NGB, and we need every dollar that we can get.’” He added the USOC is primarily "going to fund sports that are going to win medals in London” (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 8/31).