For the past decade, the World Cup Dreams Foundation has been helping to fund skiers, of all ages and disciplines, as they chase their goals on snow. In the spring of 2021, the World Cup Dreams Foundation merged with the T2 Foundation, perhaps better known in the Nordic community because of its support of the SMS T2 team. Now working together the two organizations aim to “keep the best athletes in the game, not just the best athletes who have the means to pursue their dreams.”
Recently, the World Cup Dreams Foundation announced its November Grant recipients, having received more than 150 applications from athletes in all disciplines. Sixteen grant recipients were chosen to receive $1,500 each to help offset the costs of training and competing.
“We were impressed by the range of athletes that applied. It speaks to our reach in the world of snowsports and skiing and also to the great need in the community for financial support. We want to help give athletes and families that extra boost to keep at it because as we all know keeping athletes involved is the only way to move them up the pipeline,” Tommy Biesemeyer, Executive Director of World Cup Dreams said.
Two of the sixteen recipients are cross-country skiers and FasterSkier reached out to each athlete to learn more about them and their goals.
Neve Gerard lives in Bend, OR and she wrote, “I am a second year U16. I have been playing in the woods on skis since I was little, but started actually training when I was 14.” Her goals for the season are to improve technique, make every race a positive experience and a top five finish at Junior Nationals. When asked about how this grant will help her achieve these goals Neve wrote, “This grant is such a huge help for me and my family to achieve my goals! The money will cover my trip to Junior Nationals which is so exciting for me. I am so grateful I was chosen for the grant!”
The second Nordic athlete to be awarded the grant is Garrett Butts who is skiing with APU. Garrett is in his first season as a U23 and he says, “as the story goes, my first steps were on skis, so I’ve been skiing for as long as I can remember.” When asked about his goals for this season Garrett wrote, “My overarching goal for the season is to see some good progress, and validate that all the hard, diligent work I’ve been doing is paying off. This season is an interesting one to try to outline result based goals because of the season we all faced last year with COVID. In a sense it’s hard to gauge where you stack up against the competition until you go head to head, which I have yet to do on a national level this season. Nonetheless, I have many goals for this season including being named to the U23 World Championship team, ticking off some top 10’s in SuperTour races, and generally putting myself in a place to be in the fight for the top positions against the nation’s best skiers.”
Achieving these goals requires significant travel, training and more which as he pointed out, has its costs. When asked about how this grant will help him to achieve his goals Garrett wrote, “Simply put, receiving this grant helps my skiing now by allowing me to go to these events. As a full time student/ athlete, I have a very narrow time window to be able to work to pay for life’s costs. This grant also helps my skiing future because it means I can spend more time training and less time on the jobsite. The generous support of groups and individuals such as the World Cup Dreams Foundation, makes chasing my dreams and aspirations possible, and for that I am deeply grateful!”
In a sport with a high price tag to buy in and many annual expenses, the support from groups like the World Cup Dreams Foundation can be crucial for athletes as they climb the performance ladder. Keep an eye out for the names Neve Gerard and Garrett Butts on result sheets this winter as they chase their skiing dreams, aided by the World Cup Dream Foundation grant.
Growing up in Washington’s Methow Valley, Ella was immersed in skiing and the ski community from a young age. From early days bundled in the pulk, to learning to ski as soon as she could walk, to junior racing, a few seasons of collegiate racing, and then to coaching, she has experienced the ski world in many forms. Now, as a recent graduate from Dartmouth College, she finds herself living in France splitting her time between teaching English at a university in Lyon, avidly following ski racing (and now writing about it!) and adventuring in the outdoors as often as possible.