Snowboardcross Olympian to donate podium winnings if successful 

Fagan to race for gold at Cypress on Monday, Feb. 15


It's not as though snowboardcross athlete and Squamish resident Rob Fagan couldn't use his winnings himself if he makes the Olympic podium.

He has decided, however, that if he wins a gold, silver or bronze medal on Monday, Feb. 15, he will give half of his winnings to help young kids get into sport.

This week Fagan, 33, announced he would donate half his winnings to KidSport and he challenged other athletes to do the same with their charity of choice.

"I could think of a few places I could use the money, get myself out of debt... (but) I feel like I'm behind the ball on this," said Fagan. "My charitable donations have been pretty lax lately."

A gold medal win for 2010 athletes will net them $20,000 from the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) through its Athlete Excellence Fund. A silver medal is worth $15,000 and a bronze, $10,000.

"What Rob has done, and the gauntlet he's laid down, so to speak, is really incredible," said Bart Given of KidSport. "It's a testament of his character, for someone that's worked so hard, countless hours to get to where he is to represent his country, the sacrifices he's had to make along the way, it's really an incredible thing that he's doing. And to further sacrifice the well deserved funding from the COC if he does make the podium is fantastic... I can't thank him enough for this opportunity and for this gesture."

Fagan, who is a Cranbrook native but now lives in Squamish, said this announcement doesn't put any added pressure on him. Right now he's feeling at the top of his game, confident and ready to take on the world's best at the snowboardcross competition at Cypress on Monday.

He has been on the national team for the past eight years. These are his first Olympic Games.

"I've been competing for quite a long time, for sure, and right now I'm on fire I guess you could say," he said.

He is currently ranked fourth in the FIS World Cup rankings.

Fagan chose KidSport because of the important role sport has played in his life.

The charity was established more than 15 years ago and provides grants for children ages six to 18 to participate in a sport of their choice. There are more than 175 chapters across Canada.




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