(@kennedy.justinen/Instagram)

Okanagan athlete asks for support in pursuing Olympic dream

Kelowna’s Kennedy Justinen has dreams of one day competing in snowboardcross at an Olympic level

Most have goals for the future, whether that be a promotion, a new car or a dream job. For a Kelowna athlete, that dream is the Olympics.

Kennedy Justinen started skiing and snowboarding at a young age. Since then, she has dreamed of competing on the world stage. Recently Justinen reached a major milestone: competing on the snowboardcross World Cup tour.

A week ago the snowboarder announced on Instagram she would be competing in the final two Europa Cups for the season, plus Swiss Nationals.

“After entering competition in March of 2018, followed by 20 months of complete focus and international work, I achieved the first step to my big goal – competing on the snowboardcross World Cup tour.”

Justinen only discovered a true love for snowboard competitions after moving to Kelowna from their home town of Rocky Mountain House. Their first taste of gold was in provincials, placing first and second.

However at the time, Justinen’s educational path was pulling them in a different direction; balancing full-time work as a hairstylist with training on the weekends proved difficult.

However, later in 2018, Justinen shifted to pursuing snowboarding full time, and moved overseas to train.

This however also came with challenges, including financial strain. Training at an elite level comes with rapidly changing environments, new teams and teammates.

At one point, Justinen switched to a more ‘transient’ lifestyle, so she could afford training camps.

A GoFundMe has been started to help the Kelowna snowboarder support their Olympic dream. All donations will go directly towards coaching, accommodation, and travel.

“I believe that life has no timeline, and we have the potential to create our own path. Your support (would) send momentum soaring towards Olympic stages, and beyond.”

To support Justinen’s dream, click here, or search ‘Kennedy’s Road to the Olympics’ on Gofundme. So far, over $5,000 of the $20,000 goal has been raised.

READ MORE: Unattended campfires in Kelowna, West Kelowna cause two grass fires in 24 hours

READ MORE: B.C. now permanently allows takeout, delivery liquor service from restaurants

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

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