Financial problems at Snowsport GB have left the organisation facing bankruptcy just three weeks before the likes of Ben Kilner and Zoe Gillings are due to head to Vancouver. Apparently the governing body, which has long suffered from a lack of funds, needs something in the region of £200,000 to be able to keep operating.
Thankfully, even if the organisation does go into administration, it looks like Team GB riders will still be allowed to go to the games, as athletes do not need a national governing body for their sport to compete in the Olympics. What it does mean however is that any funding that riders have received from Snowsport GB may dry up altogether.
In recent years things haven't been going too well for Snowsport GB on the money front. Last year, the organisation had to a gree to re-financing package to help them deal with their debts. More recently several people, including Olympic halfpipe hopeful Dom Harrington, have had to fall back on their sponsors for funds or even pay their own way on the World Cup qualifying circuit. Chemmy Alcott, the skier who is one of the UK's most realistic medal hopes in Vancouver, has been telling various newspapers that she's been paying for her own hotel bills and even lift passes recently. She told the Times that Snowsport GB owes her around £20,000.
A facebook group has been started to try and help the UK's snow sports governing body stay afloat. Have a look here for info on how to help. All this makes quite a contrast to the scene in the US. Far from being strapped for cash, the US governing body unveiled their halfpipe squad this weekend amongst lots of pomp and pageantry. But everyone knows us Brits have always done best when we're the underdogs...