Irish Alpine Skier | Olympic Bid
- 13.83% funded
- € 415.00 pledged
IRISH ALPINE SKIER | OLYMPIC BID
It’s January, and dark already in the North Italian Alps. The bus pulls in to the station.
You lug 80kgs of equipment off the bus and set it down by the wall. It’s minus 15 already and dropping. With only enough money for food and travel home after a race the next day, you’re stuck until the ski lift opens in the morning.
After a scout around the only possible safe spot to sleep is a toilet cubicle in the underground car park of the bus terminal.
Once again, you lug the 80kgs of gear down into the cubicle underground, lock the door and try to get some sleep.
Banging, coughs and groans come from outside the door. With eyes shut you hope for the best.
This is just one of the situations I’ve been in during my ski career to date. But I will do anything to keep my dream alive, my dream of becoming Ireland’s next Winter Olympian.
My name is Cormac Comerford. I am 20 years old, born and raised in Dublin, Ireland and on the road to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
(Check out my video at the end of this page.)
Of the five disciplines in alpine skiing I compete in Giant Slalom and Slalom.
If you’ve never encountered the sport before, it involves skiing downhill through a course made up of red and blue gates. You can reach speeds of up to 160km/h.
Being a ski racer in Ireland poses an infinite number of obstacles: It doesn’t snow much in our country; we don’t have many high altitude mountains; there is no national team support or coaches; and training involves expensive flights abroad.
Despite this battle against the odds it can be done, but not alone.
I come from an ordinary Irish family where experience in winter sport extends to sledding down an icy road on a baking tray. Yet it has become a sport that I am passionate about and determined to compete in at the highest level.
This epic journey began when I was eight years old at an open day on the small artificial slopes of The Ski Club of Ireland in the Dublin Mountains. From the moment I clipped into the skis, I was hooked. There I learnt to ski and started racing.
That’s where this mammoth journey began.
In 2010 one of my coaches competed in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. To me it was glorious ultimate success and I totally admired him.
His achievement sparked a fire in me, yet I would not have expected that 4 years later I would already be a European Youth Olympian and eligible to compete in the next Winter Olympics. It was then that the dream came alive.
As I progressed and got older my parents could no longer manage to fund my ski career and eventually at the start of the past season I was left empty-handed.
No funds, no team, no support and no hope.
I had one chance of making it work, and that was a sports scholarship at third level. In my first year of studying Engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), I earned a place on the Athlete Support Programme. It’s safe to say that without the support of the team at DIT I could not continue on this Olympic journey.
Despite the overwhelming support I received from DIT and the Snowsports Association of Ireland (SAI), the past year has been the most challenging part of this journey yet. A struggle to say the least.
During the season I did things I never thought I would, and achieved things I never believed I could.
I have continued to perform better, faster and stronger every season despite my dwindling funds.
I am now 2nd highest ranked in Ireland, have competed at two Junior World Championships and been selected for a World Championships.
Nonetheless the battle continues and I need every ounce of support I can get to make it to the Winter Olympics 2018.
To make it to where I need to be I train six times a week, control my diet and thanks to DIT, work with some of the top strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists and sporting experts in the country.
Sporting success not only involves rigorous hard work, sacrifice and dedication but it takes a village. Skiing may be an individual sport but no-one can succeed without a team behind them.
My hope is that you will become part of this team.
WHAT IS NEEDED
Everything necessary to succeed is in place but there’s only one thing missing.
Unfortunately in this sport because of its ferocious cost there is often a direct correlation between the success you have and the amount of money you possess.
The amount needed to complete a full professional season would be in the region of about €30,000 excluding flights, equipment and personal expenses.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
I do not have €30,000, but what I do have is the combination of will power, a fraction of that amount of money and your support.
The money you raise would be just enough to cover the cost of some of the coaching fees, or skis for the season which cost around €600 each.
The rest of my funds come from summer work as a sailing instructor, the scholarship, the SAI, and selling my equipment and team gear.
With the World Championships this season and it being the final sprint in the bid to qualify for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, it’s all or nothing this winter 2016-2017 and I want you to join me.
Any support you can give, however small, will help me on the way to my cherished ambition, to represent Ireland at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Thank you so much in advance.