Kelowna bobsledder Keefer Joyce. Photo: Keefer Joyce

Kelowna bobsledder looks to bridge financial gap

Keefer Joyce, 25, is a 2022 Olympics hopeful

Keefer Joyce is pursuing his dreams of becoming an Olympian bobsledder.

The KSS grad and former track star has embraced the life of a bobsledder since transitioning from the sport after high school. Now, the 25-year-old needs a helpful push to keep his Olympic dreams alive.

“If I want to make it to the Olympics, it will take over my life mentally, physically, and financially,” said Joyce.

The cost for chasing one’s dream down an iced track has proven expensive, and Canada’s Olympic team only gets funding when they’re competing.

Joyce, as well as many Olympians before him, has turned to sponsorships from local businesses and organizations to help alleviate the costs of competing and training as a full-time Olympic athlete.

Canada’s Olympic Committee will pay for flights, accommodations, travel and basic food costs, but everything else is on the athlete’s dime, said Joyce.

“I’m just getting started looking for sponsors,” he said. “It’s up to me to go out and advocate for myself.”

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The switch from track and field to bobsledding wasn’t a natural process for Joyce. The dedicated athlete got his shot with RBC Training Ground, a program that identifies Olympic-level athletic talent.

“I didn’t wake up saying I want to be a bobsledder,” Joyce laughed.

Since then, it has been a successful and action-packed ride for Joyce. Competing for the National Team for the first time in 2019 in two-man and four-man bobsled races, Joyce earned a silver medal at the World Championships for a team event in Whistler at the beginning of March.

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The second place finish was the start of the off season for Joyce. With travels and training planned in various spots in the U.S. and Canada, the bobsledder will both train hard and promote hard to continue his aspirations of an Olympic qualification.

Sponsorships will help balance out the costs for Joyce, whether it’s rent expenses while away on competitions, additional travel costs or extra amenities while travelling. Joyce hopes that the Kelowna community will rally behind him as he pursues his dreams while wearing a Canadian flag.

“It’s been a lot more (difficult) than I thought, but you gotta give up a lot of things, if (the Olympics) is what you want.”

More information on supporting Joyce can be found at his GoFundMe.

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