Viva Glam back by popular demand 

Whistler-based mogul skiers Tami Bradley and Kelly Ringstad have a simple agenda for the World Championships – ski like hell during the competitions and finish off the weekend with a party that people will be talking about for years. Kind of like last year’s party.

Faced with the loss of two major sponsors last year, Bradley and Ringstad threw a fund-raiser party at The Savage Beagle – Viva Glam – after last year’s World Cup dual mogul competition, raising more than $8,000 to help with training and travel costs.

Although the sponsorship situation is looking a lot better this season, they say they can still use a little help to pay for training.

"One of the biggest misconceptions people have about freestyle athletes is that we’re paid like hockey players or football players," says Ringstad. "They just assume every athlete makes a decent living."

Ringstad says it costs about $20,000 a year to compete, and she is still paying for almost the whole season. Other athletes have also held fund-raisers, many of them inspired by last year’s Viva Glam.

Besides, it was such a success the freestylers asked them to do it again.

This year Viva Glam 2001 will be held at Garfinkel’s on Sunday, Jan. 21. All the visiting athletes and coaches have already bought tickets, and the tickets available to the public are going fast. All the money raised will go towards Bradley and Ringstad to help cover World Cup expenses.

"The party was crazy last year and we’re sure it will be even crazier this year being the World Championships, the biggest competition we have had in two years," says Bradley, who finished a career high sixth in the world last season with two World Cup podium appearances. "It will probably get a little out of hand."

Garfinkel’s will be donating 20 per cent of sales to the cause, and between 30 and 40 local businesses will be donating prizes. In addition, The Great Glass Elevator will be supplying tanks and tanks of helium to the party. DJ Dave Smith has donated his skills, and Kokanee will sponsor the event.

Dress is "fine and funky", or however you define Glam.

Tickets to Viva Glam, $10 in advance and $25 at the door, are available at Garfinkel’s, Snowcovers, Fanatyk Co. and The Mogul Corner.

If all goes well, there may be something extra to decorate the bar – a couple of medals to go with the outfits. Bradley is coming off the best season of her career and Ringstad is known as one of the fastest girls in dual moguls competition.

"Having the World Championships in my hometown is amazing and I am happy that my family and friends will be here to cheer me on and celebrate at the Glam with me when the weekend wraps up," Bradley says.

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