:: Daily Sundial | Deaflympics: costly for competitors ::

Deaflympics: costly for competitors

Melanie Saxe
Issue date: 4/11/07

After four years of practice and dedication, student Sheila De La O was unable to participate in the 2007 Winter Deaflympics because she did not have enough time between school and work for fund raising.

De La O has been snowboarding since she was 16. She is currently on the U.S. half pipe snowboard team.

“Athletes who participate in the Deaflympics are required to raise their own funds,” said De La O, a child development major. “The athletes in the Olympics don’t have to do that.”

In 2003, however, she was able to go to the Winter Deaflympics in Sweden because of her own fund-raising efforts.

“I sent out flyers to different companies, friends and family, letting them know my situation, and asked them to help sponsor my trip,” she said.

She raised $3,000 to cover her expenses to Sweden.

At the games, De La O won two medals.

She said she agrees that there were other issues as well, and that she hopes there will be more female athletes willing to compete.

Had there been a group committed to raising funds for the snowboard team, De La O would have jumped at the opportunity to do what she does best: compete. She argued that truly gifted athletes should not have to worry about fund raising and should instead focus their energy on training. Continue

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