Skier Larisa Yurkiw funding own way to Sochi

Larisa Yurkiw competes during women's downhill training for the FIS alpine skiing World Cup in Lake...

Larisa Yurkiw competes during women's downhill training for the FIS alpine skiing World Cup in Lake Louise, Alta., on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. (Eric Bolte/USA TODAY Sports)

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:57 PM ET

CALGARY - Larisa Yurkiw will show up for Friday’s World Cup downhill race at Lake Louise wearing an Alpine Canada racing suit and a massive grin.

Don’t be fooled.

The smile is genuine, but she’s no longer part of the Canadian team.

Despite being the reigning downhill champ and the only full-time Canadian speed skier on the World Cup loop, she was booted from Alpine Canada’s program last April. Having lost two years of development due to a knee injury in 2009, administrators simply felt Yurkiw wasn’t a viable medal threat for Sochi 2014. Alpine Canada chose to invest in Olympic medal hopefuls for 2018 and 2022 instead.

The 25-year-old Yurkiw respecfully disagreed with the devastating decision and thrust herself into a corporate world in search of the money it would cost to train independently to keep her Olympic dreams alive.

“I had to raise $150,000 and that’s what I got,” said the Owen Sound, Ont., native triumphantly from her Lake Louise hotel room.


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