Brit Olympic Ski Team Bankrupt
Athletes left to fund themselves on eve of Vancouver Games
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2010 1:21 AM CST
Britain's Andrew Noble speeds down the course during the first run of the Men's Giant Slalom race at the World Alpine Ski Championships in Val d'Isere, France.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

(Newser) – The governing body for Britain's skiiers and snowboarders has gone bust just before the Vancouver Olympics. Athletes now in Vancouver have been forced to fund themselves as UK Olympic officials scramble to find cash from sponsors and private donors to cover the team's costs. Organizers complain that the London 2012 Olympics have vastly overshadowed winter sports, which were already underfunded.

The money woes have battered Britain's already slim hopes for a good haul of medals in Vancouver. "It has a negative impact on the athletes—it's soul-destroying," the chairman of the committee that selected Britain's ski team tells the Wall Street Journal. "For the last month, they needed to be focused on one thing. Instead, they've had to focus on who's going to pay their bills or whether their credit card's going to work."