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'Start moving toward national team': Calgary skier Haley Cunningham eyes Olympics

Last Updated Jul 22, 2021 at 5:14 pm MDT

Calgary's Haley Cunningham (http://albertaalpine.ca/)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Despite no trace of a snowflake in sight, the work doesn’t stop for the Alberta Ski Team.

And that includes Calgary’s Haley Cunningham, who is coming off a season where she won her first-ever race, and that victory has her focused on more podium finishes.

“Having results at races like the North American Cup, you perform there, and if you win overall, you get a World Cup spot,” she explained.

“You want low points, like golf, where the closer they are to zero, the better. Once you’re in the top 150 in the world, that’s when you can start World Cups and start moving toward the national team.

“It’s about putting in the work at local races, at Nor-Ams, in training every day so I can feel strong at races so I can perform and hopefully drop my points or have the results I need at Nor Ams to have one of the spots.”

And getting to that spot requires hard work from Cunningham and the team around her, which means any monetary support can make a difference.

“Obviously, every bit of training comes with a cost,” she said. “Even just day to day, mentally, and physically being around good coaches and other supports like mental coaches is really important to get there.”

And that’s where the Team Canada 50/50 draw comes in.

“It goes directly to our training, our camps and competitions, our administration, sports science and sports medicine sides of it, ” Cunningham offered. “The fundraising helps with all of that.

“Most of the girls on my team currently work either a full-time job or two part-time jobs to help assist with the financial side of being on the Alberta Ski Team. In order to compete, you have to be able to afford it, and funds like this really help decrease the costs so we can really just focus on our training.”

According to the Canadian Sport Institue, the goal of the Team Canada 50/50 Lottery is to enhance the development of provincial-level athletes, coaches, and technical leaders in Olympic and Paralympic sport disciplines that are eligible to participate in the Canada Summer and Winter Games.

“We’re thrilled to officially roll out this initiative with the Canadian Olympic Foundation to support athletes as well as fellow Albertans,” Gary Davies, Chief Executive Officer, CSI Calgary, stated.

“This lottery will directly impact Provincial sport programming to elevate athletes to podium performances for future Games. With this being one of the most interesting Olympic/Paralympic cycles to date, we’re excited to be a part of an initiative where everyone can win for Team Canada.”

To purchase tickets, you can visit this link.

To keep tabs on Haley’s journey, follow her on Instagram, as well as the Alberta Women’s Ski Team.