British Bobsleigh To Withdraw Funding For Women's Team Ahead Of 2018 Games
British Bobsleigh is reportedly "set to withdraw funding from its women's team" -- just five months before the Winter Olympics, according to Roan & Hope of the BBC. British driver Mica McNeill said that she was "gutted and shocked" to be told by execs there was no money left to fund her because of "an overspend." The "crisis-hit" British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association is the country's "best-funded winter sport governing body, and intends to continue supporting three men's teams" on its performance program. But it is "now uncertain whether Team GB will be represented in the women's bobsleigh competition." In a statement, the BBSA said, "We are actively seeking commercial funding to further support our world class program and we will continue to do so." The BBSA has been "mired in controversy in recent months." Despite receiving £10M ($13.5M) of public funding in the four-year cycle to PyeongChang 2018, UK Sport cut its support by £50,000 ($67,490) this summer after the BBC revealed a group of elite athletes complained of a "toxic atmosphere" in the sport (BBC, 9/19). In London, Martyn Ziegler reported McNeill "launched a crowdfunding campaign" to finance her Olympic preparations. McNeill: "Due to the mismanagement of British Bobsleigh there is no longer any funding available for a women’s programme to compete in the Olympics. I now must self-fund my winter season and I am asking for funding/sponsorship so that I am able to compete on the World Cup circuit this winter to secure my place in the next Olympics" (LONDON TIMES, 9/19).