Pursu.it, the Halifax-based crowdfunding site for elite athletes, has issued the following press release:
Former Olympian Launches Crowdfunding Platform Pursu.it USA to Support US Athletes
November 10, 2014 – Washington, DC: On Thursday, November 13, Pursu.it USA, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform, will launch to support aspiring US athletes to raise the money necessary to fulfil their athletic dreams. Modelled after the successful Canadian version, Pursu.it USA gives fans and supporters the opportunity to directly support American athletes on their journey to success. Athletes make their appeal for each project through a personalized video in which they articulate their inspiring story and the impact the funding will have on their ability to achieve their goals as they work towards competing at the highest level in their sport.
“We are very excited to offer our crowdfunding services to aspiring American athletes and support them in their pursuit of their dreams” says founder Julia Rivard, who in 2000 walked away from her own dreams of standing on the podium in order to enter the workforce and contribute financially to her family.
“When I finished my competition at the 2000 Olympic Games I had two choices: continue with my passion and try to be the best in the world or hang up the paddle and get a job to pay for life,” Rivard says. “I chose the latter and since that time, I’ve often wondered what might have happened if I was able to train and support my life through sport. It made me wonder what I could do to help athletes who are struggling to support their own dreams.”
Like Rivard, many aspiring athletes forfeit their pursuit of the podium because they simply don’t have the funds to continue. In 2012 Rivard, a former Olympic kayaker, launched Pursu.it in Canada together with former gymnast Leah Skerry. Since its launch 45 Canadian athletes have raised more than $380,000 through the platform to support their dreams.
Pursu.it USA will initially launch with campaigns featuring Dagmara Wozniak (USA Fencing), Allison Jones (Paralympic Cycling), JD Bergman (USA Wrestling), Amber English (USA Shotgun), and Adeline Gray (USA Wrestling). Each athlete will have 60 days to engage their fans to raise the money they need. Once Pursu.it USA is launched, the platform will be open for any aspiring athlete in need of financial support.
Dagmara Wozniak – Fencing
Born July 1, 1988 in Poland, Dagmara’s family moved to the United States when she was one year old. She began fencing by the age of ten and trained for about six years at the Polish American Fencing School in Linden, NJ coached by Janusz Mlynek, before moving to New York to train under National and Olympic Men’s saber coach Yury Gelman. Dagmara has been a member of the US national team since 2006 and competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. Currently ranked 5th in the world individually and number 1 in the world for team rankings. She is a 2016 Olympic hopeful.
Allison Jones – Paralympic Cycling
Allison Jones is an 8 time Paralympic Medalist in the sports of Alpine Skiing and Cycling. She has competed in 7 consecutive Paralympic Games, starting in the 2002 Winter Games. Her goal is to compete in the 2016 Summer Paralympic in Rio de Janeiro for cycling. She is the defending Gold medalist in the Individual Time Trial and defending World Champion in the Road Race. The next two years of competition and qualification will pave her way to her eighth Paralympic Games. Allison retired from skiing after the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia so that she could focus all efforts on the bike and Rio de Janeiro.
Adeline Gray – Wrestling
Adeline was born January 15, 1991 in Colorado and is currently ranked No. 1 at 75kg for team USA Wrestling. She has been wrestling for 17 years and won gold at the 2012 and more recently at the 2014 World Wrestling Championships. In 2012 she also went to the Olympics as an alternate for the U.S. women’s wrestling team. Adeline’s favorite move is the arm drag to a chicken win and her next big goal is to be the first female U.S. wrestler to win an Olympic gold.
Amber English – Shooting
Amber English is the 2013 U.S. National Women's Skeet champion, winning this year's national championships with a score of 216/225 - the second highest score of the entire tournament, including men's results. Amber commenced competitive shooting in 2006 at age 17 when she began competing in women's skeet matches. After progressing up the ranks of International skeet shooting, she moved to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO to become a full-time U.S. Shooting National Team athlete in March, 2013. Competing in various domestic, international, and World Cup matches, Amber has continued to hone her skills as a shotgun shooter, and has her sights set on the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Never considered to be one-dimensional, Amber, continues to work toward attending P.A. school, regularly volunteers with various local youth organizations, and works with national conservation organizations. A lover of the outdoors, Amber enjoys hiking, fishing, and, of course, hunting in the Colorado wilderness in and around the Rocky Mountains.
JD Bergman - Wrestling
Born September 7, 1984 in Ohio, JD was a 2010 and 2013 USA Wrestling World Team member at 97kg. He is currently a member of the USA National team and has his sights sets on being an Olympic Champion in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He was a two time Ohio High School State Champion from Oak Harbor High School and was also a first team All-Ohio running back in football. While at Ohio State University, he was a three-time All-American and was the 2008 NCAA Runner-up. JD actually appears in the upcoming Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo wrestling movie “Foxcatcher” depicting the tragic events leading to the death of Olympian David Schultz.