Last weekend the US Ski & Snowboard’s Gold Medal Gala, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, was held in New York City, NY. It was their 56th annual fundraising event and raised over $2 million, the most ever raised at a Gold Medal Gala in history. Last year’s gala raised more than $1.7 million.
As part of the Gala, awards are handed out, and this year five-time Olympian and three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, nicknamed “The Golden Goat,” from fellow GOAT and Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn. Shaun received the award in recognition of his continued reign as supreme snowboarder, helping shape the sport into what it is today. During the award ceremony, a video was shown which moved the seasoned snowboarder. The video featured other sporting legends including Kelly Slater, David Beckham, and Chloe Kim congratulating him on his career and wishing him a happy retirement.
In attendance in the Ziegfeld Ballroom were about 500 passionate snowsports supporters and 32 past and present athletes. Part of the fundraiser included auctions of clothing or race bibs or experiences. The most coveted item is usually the VIP “King & Queen of the Hill” Experience, which this year featured John Moseley. All in all, over $2 million was raised for the US Ski & Snowboard Team. All money raised at the gala go to support the snowsports athletes.
“We are immensely grateful to everyone who attended the event, both in person and virtually,” Sophie Goldschmidt, President and CEO of US Ski & Snowboard, was quoted as saying. “To be in the same room with some of the best athletes in the world is a privilege and what better way to end the gala than knowing we raised an incredible amount of money to help them achieve their dreams. Thank you to everyone who donated and who continuously supports these incredible athletes year after year.”
Fundraisers are one of the key ways for the US Ski & Snowboard athletes to fund their sport. Unlike other countries, the U.S. does not have federal funding for its athletes. A lot of funding is therefore derived from corporate sponsorships and fundraisers.