Canada’s summer Olympians now have an extra reason to cheer when their Winter Games compatriots win gold in Vancouver.
Toronto investment firm Sprott Asset Management has pledged to donate $100,000 to the Canadian Athletes Now Fund each time a Canadian tops the podium in Vancouver.
Twice a year Canadian athletes can apply for direct funding and can receive up to $12,000 a year. The fund has helped 80 per cent of the teams representing Canada in Vancouver this year, said its executive director Jane Roos.
She said many people are unaware of the funding gap athletes face, adding that 42 per cent of Canada’s winter athletes rank in the Top 10 globally but still have negative incomes Roos approached Eric Sprott, CEO of Sprott Asset Management, last month when 35 Canadian athletes remained on the waiting list for funding. He agreed to donate $210,000 to clear the backlog of winter athletes’ funding requests. He also wanted to do more for Canadian athletes, and decided to celebrate Canada’s victories with donations.
Sprott hopes Canada wins at least 15 gold medals, meaning he’d be donating $1.5 million to the athletes. He called on other members of Canada’s business community to make a similar pledge, adding that it’s a historical time to celebrate victory, since Canada has never won Olympic gold on Canadian soil.