Friday, August 20, 2010

“6 at Sochi” is goal for SVSEF top athletes

Fundraising underway for ODT team

Photo illustration, courtesy of Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) hopes to prepare its top athletes well enough so they can qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia. And money is needed to reach that goal.

Since 1996, the SVSEF has recognized the financial demands of preparing athletes for top-level international competition with its Olympic Development Fund (ODF) supporting Olympic Development Team (ODT) skiers.

SVSEF Executive Director Don Wiseman said, "With the successes of Vancouver the SVSEF ODT is setting its sights higher—placing six athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team at Sochi, Russia in 2014."

Wiseman added, "'6 at Sochi' is a lofty goal, yet a realistic one given the current ODT athlete pipeline. The goal remains tangible as long as our ODT athletes continue to receive the necessary training and competition opportunities and financial support."

This past spring, the SVSEF formed a new fundraising arm, called the Olympic Development Team Foundation (ODTF), to provide the annual financial support needed for top athletes to achieve success.

Wiseman said, "The goal of the ODTF is to annually raise a minimum of $200,000 for the SVSEF Olympic Development Team programs in order to reach the goal of '6 at Sochi.'"

The new foundation is separate from the SVSEF's budget.

He added, "The SVSEF's first priority is to be the best junior development team in the nation. Over $500,000 is raised each year to keep the quality programs and coaching staff of the SVSEF available to the youth of the valley. So the ODT Foundation can't interfere with the donations and support of the SVSEF junior programs.

"The ODT Foundation goal is to create additional financial support specifically budgeted for the ODT athletes."

Annual membership levels for the ODT Foundation are Diamond Sun Member $10,000 and up, Gold $5,000-$9,999, Silver $2,500-$4,999 and Bronze $1,000-$2,499.

Meet the athletes Aug. 26

To formally introduce 2010-11 SVSEF ODT members, ODTF members are hosting a reception from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26 at the Roundhouse on Baldy. The Sun Valley Resort gondola will take guests to and from the celebration.

Wiseman said, "Over the last five years the ODT has been operating on a thin and, at times, non-existent budget. Fortunately, through the creative work of the SVSEF staff and ODT athletes and their families and supporters, few training and competition opportunities have been missed.

"The ODT Foundation is the next step in continuing a long tradition of Sun Valley athletes competing at the highest levels of competition."

Alpine ODT coaches are Ruben Macaya, Nate Schwing and Pat Savaria. The alpine ODT athletes are Tanner Farrow and Teagen Palmer.

Cross-country ODT coaches are Rick Kapala and Travis Jones. The athletes are Morgan Arritola and Simi Hamilton, both U.S. Ski Team members, plus Mike Sinnott, Nicole De Yong, Colin Rodgers, Matt Gelso, Katie Bono, Alexa Turzian and Reid Pletcher.

Call Wiseman at 720-6495 for more details or email him at

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