SBD/February 6, 2014/Olympics

U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association Using Injured Lindsey Vonn In Late Fundraising Push

The U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association is using "high-profile athletes" including injured skier Lindsey Vonn in "a late fundraising push to meet surging Winter Olympics expenses," according to Ben Priechenfried of BLOOMBERG NEWS. The USSA, which "receives no government funding, is seeking to raise $200,000 via the website to meet the higher-than-expected costs of taking part" in the Sochi Games. USSA CMO Mike Jaquet said, "It costs millions of dollars for our team to participate. It’s the last 5 to 8 percent of what we’re actually going to be spending that we’re hoping to raise." Olympic historian and author David Wallechinsky said that sponsorship "has been hard to come by partly because Comcast Corp.’s NBC won’t be broadcasting races live from Sochi." Priechenfried noted the USSA "launched the crowdfunding campaign Feb. 2 and is using Vonn and other athletes to drum up support." It is "seeking donations of either $20.14 or $50." Vonn, who is missing the Olympics following knee surgery, is "featured on the USSA’s fundraising website, along with participating athletes" such as skiers Julia Mancuso and Ted Ligety. Jaquet said that the campaign also is "leveraging athletes’ ties with their hometowns" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 2/5).

CHANNELING FRANCIS SCOTT KEY: In Baltimore, Julie Scharper notes Boulder-based ski wear company Spyder Sports Production Art Manager Matt Strackbein "thought back to his Maryland roots" when he was "seeking inspiration" for the U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team's uniforms. Strackbein drew on images of the U.S. flag "as he created the designs, which were unveiled late last month." The suits have "an ombre effect, as the dark blue fades into white along the sleeves, waistband and legs." Strackbein said it is a representation of "the dawn's early light." Scharper notes some of the suits "worn for the downhill skiing competition feature more white to create a sense of unity between the skier and the snow-covered mountain" (Baltimore SUN, 2/6).
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