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Q&A with Megan McJames

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Benji Farrow Post Season Catch Up

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Catching Up with Alex Tuttle

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Noah Hoffman: Silver Medal at U-23 World Championships
Support from The Level Field Fund, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, and many personal supporters have allowed me to continue to ski race when funds were cut this season from the US Ski Team. I could not be here without their support...
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2002 Olympic Legacy
Ten years ago the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah snuffed the Olympic flame. Ross Powers, Danny Kass and JJ Thomas left the games with a podium sweep in halfpipe snowboarding, Kelly Clark and Chris Klug with gold and bronze respectively and snowboarding in the Olympics was forever changed.
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Paul Brichta Checks In From The Road
Paul Brichta one of our Level Field Fund grant recipients sent us this recap of his season thus far. With progressive riding and qualifying for finals at one of the biggest events of the year we're glad to hear the LFF is helping him achieve athletic success.
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LFF Helps Jason Hale Reach X Games Podium
We caught up with Snowboardcross rider and Level Field Fund recipient, Jason Hale, right after his Bronze medal finish at the 2012 Winter X Games.
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Successful X Games for Level Field Fund Recipients
Last weekend at the Winter X Games 16, there were a total of 12 Level Field Fund recipients and two Level Field Fund ambassadors competing.
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Grants Aid Athletes Who Reach for Heights
Seth Wescott knows what it's like to depend on someone else. He remembers how difficult it was to get started in a sport -- snowboarding -- that wasn't considered traditional, even on the mountain. So Wescott's trying to make sure no one else goes without the financial resources to compete in their chosen sport. The two-time Olympic gold medal snowboardcross winner from Carrabassett Valley is Maine's ambassador for the Level Field Fund, a nonprofit program that provides grants to athletes in need of financial assistance...
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Northern Kentucky girl dreams big, Olympic big
Emily Brunemann started as a Northern Kentucky Clipper and still holds several records for that team. The time clock clicks by number by number reflecting in the 25-year-old’s silver goggles, as she makes sure that they are securely fastened around her head and face. She takes a deep breath, mouth wide open, and leaps into the bright blue pool water...
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Level Field Fund Continues to Fund Talent & Fuel Dreams
Level Field Fund today announced the latest round of athlete funding to help support talented athletes in need of financial assistance with the release of 11 grants totaling more than $25,000. Athletes from skiing, snowboarding, swimming and judo with diverse backgrounds ranging from World Champion to Junior National Champion are among the grant recipients benefiting from the support of the Level Field Fund. Over the last 12 months, Level Field Fund has awarded 53 grants benefitting 40 athletes from five different sports totaling over $137,000 in direct funding support.
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A Woman Making Moves, One Stroke at a Time
For many of us, the 2012 Olympics in London have not begun to occupy our thoughts or conversations. But for the athletes who hope to claim a spot on the U.S.A Olympic team, the upcoming games have already consumed their lives-both time-wise and financially. For 24-year-old Emily Brunemann, University of Michigan graduate and 2012 Team U.S.A. open water swimming hopeful, the fight for the chance to compete has been a journey constructed by drive, determination and the will to push through the roadblocks...
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Jeret “Speedy” Peterson 1981-2011
Jeret was the face of American freestyle aerial skiing for over a decade.
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Park Record: Pro athletes given a helping hand
If there is a common false assumption surrounding Olympic athlete hopefuls, it's that the whole lifestyle is one big, free party. If there is a common false assumption surrounding Olympic athlete hopefuls, it's that the whole lifestyle is one big, free party. Snowboarder Jonathan Cheever, a Park City resident who hails from Saugus, Mass., knows that first hand. Cheever, the 2011 U.S. Snowboardercross National Champion and third-place finisher on the World Cup SBX circuit, supports his winter habit by working in plumbing and heating. He learned the trade through his father Mark, who owns a company in Saugus. Right now, as he recovers from off-season surgery to both ankles, Cheever surfs the Internet for jobs on Craigslist or KSL.com. But the racer says he gets about only one odd job every 10 days. "I take anything that comes along," he said. "Most recently I took a call to fix a water heater. Turns out the pilot light went out on it, so I just got it going again. It's just pretty slow right now." The 26-year-old Cheever isn't the only Olympic hopeful in need of help. Paralympic hopeful Nicole Roundy, who lost her right leg above the knee warding off cancer at age eight, said it's next to impossible to find a legitimate sponsorship for an adaptive athlete. "Especially for adaptive snowboarders," she said. "We don't even have an organization to pay for our international competition fees. We have to pay that. We have to pay the $400 for membership fees and the competition fees. We're just trying to hold it together and compete. We just want to be out there and have that opportunity." But Cheever, Roundy and Caden Michnal, a fellow snowboarder who trains in Park City, got a big break this year. The Level Field Fund, a program that supplies grant money to athletes whose chance at success would be limited by financial difficulty, gave them their shot to continue their dream. The Level Field Fund doled out more than $110,000 in 33 different grants to help athletes in skiing, snowboarding, swimming and judo. According to a press release, "Led by gold medalists, including Ross Powers, Daron Rahlves, Michael Phelps, Seth Wescott, and Lenny Krayzelburg, as well as the support of Founding Partner OrthoLite, Level Field Fund provides funding to uniquely talented-athletes at critical stages of their development. Level Field Fund helps alleviate increasing costs as athletes progress towards the elite levels of training and competing, including more specialized instruction, equipment, event entry fees and related travel." Cheever said he has been good friends with Powers for some time and the Olympic gold medalist gave his friend the good news on Christmas Eve 2010. "I was desperate at the time," he said. "I couldn't have competed at the first of the season. "I know Ross really well. It seemed like the natural way to go. I knew he would help me out; he knew that I was a strong competitor." Roundy, 25, who trains in Park City, said she found out about the Level Field Fund through adaptive program director Travis Thiele. She jumped at the opportunity to receive some sort of help and applied right away. The program's target goal is to focus on unique athletes. Roundy said she is atop that list. "I'm obviously not one-in-a-thousand," she said. "How many female snowboarders do you know that only have one leg?" She said once she learned she had been accepted by the Level Field Fund, she was elated. "They seem to give more of an opportunity, to give a chance to keep trying and hoping for the best," she said. "It was kind of a break. It was very relieving." Cheever is still working on getting back to 100 percent following his surgeries that took place in May. He said he is hoping to avoid any unnecessary off-season expenditures and trips outside of the country; his No. 1 priority at this point is about getting healthy enough to get back to racing on the hill. He is living in an apartment in Pinebrook at the moment, but said he may have to move home to Saugus for a while to get some work. Mark Cheever Plumbing and Heating is busy at the moment, he said. "Living with the parents right now could be a little stressful," he said. "Hopefully something else comes up."
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Deseret News: Foundation working to give all competitors a fair chance
Every year, Nicole Roundy faces the very real possibility that she is nurturing an impossible dream. "Every season I get to October and think, 'I can't afford to snowboard this year,' " the 24-year-old Viewmont High graduate said. "I love it, and I want to do it. But I can't afford it." Not only is snowboarding an expensive sport, but the fact that Roundy is a cancer survivor who competes in adaptive snowboarding makes a pricey endeavor even more costly..."I can't even step on a snowboard for less than $5,000," said Roundy, who lost her right leg above the knee when she was 8 years old due to cancer. "It costs me $5,000 for my snowboarding prosthetic." Because adaptive snowboard cross is not part of the Paralympics yet, athletes can't get funding from official channels...And while snowboarding is at the top of the list for consideration, until then, athletes are essentially on their own when it comes to paying for travel, equipment and training costs. That system — or lack thereof — has existed for decades in both the Olympics and Paralympics. Those who could find sponsors or financial support could compete until either they made a U.S. team or their sport was added to the Games. Those who did not have the means, however, did not always find a way. "There were definitely people along the way, friends, great riders, who were just as good as me on certain days," said Ross Powers, whose namesake foundation helps raise money for athletes like Roundy in their quest for Olympic glory. "And they didn't have the support I did and they didn't make it." Success often means money. If an athlete hopes to even have a shot at an Olympic or Paralympic team, he or she must travel to national and international competitions. And then there is equipment and training costs. "In snowboarding, it's not always the people with the most talent that make it; it's the people who can financially afford it," Powers said. "I wanted to give everyone a fair chance."
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ThePostGame.com: For Financially Strapped Olympians, Finish Line Looms Way Too Soon
...This year's version of Mark Gangloff is Emily Brunemann. She's a 24-year-old graduate of the University of Michigan, and she should be a bright hope for Team USA's Olympic future. She’s training for her qualifying meet for the 2012 Games in the 10-kilometer open-water marathon, which is only 11 weeks away. But for the better part of this year, she wondered if she should retire from the sport..."I don't have a way to support myself," Brunemann says...There is some good news: Organizations like the Level Field Fund, started by Olympic snowboarder Ross Powers (below) and supported by Phelps, has donated $112,000 to Olympic hopefuls, including Brunemann, who received $15,000. But that’s hardly a full-year salary for someone who needs to swim 45 miles a week just to keep up with the world's best. "My mom's a computer guru," Brunemann says. "She spends all kinds of time researching grants and is always sending me applications."...t what's the alternative? Years of regret? "I have a once in a lifetime opportunity to do this," says Brunemann. "My will and desire to achieve those goals keep me going." Brunemann plans to swim through 2012, and then reassess at that time. "I want to go back to school," she says. "I want to get a clinical psychology degree, and that's another five years. I know that there’s life after swimming and I want to have a family." But the last thing she wants, the meantime, is to do things at anything less than full effort. "I think it hurts people," she says, "when they know what they want but they just can't go after it because there’s not enough money."
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Associated Press: Olympians back next wave of athletes with fund
Olympians back next wave of athletes with fund...Snowboarder Jonathan Cheever has to moonlight as a plumber, fixing leaky pipes and worn-out water heaters to keep his Olympic aspirations rolling. Even with the money he earns unclogging drains and the occasional odd job he picks up around Park City, Utah, one of the world's top snowboardcross racers still struggles to make ends meet with the small stipend he receives through the United States Olympic Committee. Enter the Level Field Fund, a program that supports burgeoning athletes who otherwise might slip through the cracks. Earlier this year, the organization doled out 33 grants worth more than $110,000. The fund was the brainchild of snowboarder Ross Powers, an Olympic champion whose motto is, "Make it about talent, not money."
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Level Field Fund Awards More Than $110,000 in Athlete Funding
Level Field Fund Awards More Than $110,000 in Athlete Funding...All-American, Junior Olympic Champion & Licensed Plumber Among Talented Athletes Receiving Financial Assistance to Continue Development in Skiing, Snowboarding, Swimming, and Judo...Application Deadline for Next Round of Funding is May 15...The Level Field Fund today announced the first round of athlete funding to help support talented athletes in need of financial assistance with the release of 33 grants totaling more than $110,000. Athletes from skiing, snowboarding, swimming and judo with diverse backgrounds ranging from All-American to Junior Olympic Champion as well as a part-time licensed plumber are among the initial grant recipients benefiting from the support of the Level Field Fund.
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Steamboat Today: (Level Field Fund recipient) Chloe Banning wins her 1st Junior World Championships medal
Steamboat Springs snowboarder Chloe Banning took third Tuesday in the 2011 FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships opening snowboard cross event in Valmalenco, Italy...Banning qualified in the second position and used consistent racing to win her first Junior World Championship medal...Banning, 18, raced the Valmalenco course just 10 days ago at a World Cup event... Banning got the invite because of podium finishes at the U.S. Revolution Tour as well as numerous NorAm stops.
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Concord Monitor: (Level Field Fund recipient) Taylor Owen – Almost Famous
Taylor Owen is not a celebrity, and she'll be the first to remind you. Some aren't buying it. Like the Kearsarge Regional Middle School kids whose friend requests she has accepted on Facebook, and who brag about it to their classmates. Or her fellow Kearsarge students, even her close friends, who know her as "that snowboarder girl." Owen's right. She's not a celebrity. Not yet, at least. In most ways, she's just like everyone else. At Kearsarge, she's a senior who goes to class. She does her homework. She plays sports for the Cougars, soccer in the fall, softball in the spring. It's just that, in the winter, she snowboards. All the time. And she's very, very good. A career on the slopes that began at a young age has only grown for New London's Owen, through stops at the prestigious Waterville Valley Academy and into the rarified air of professional tours, events and national features.
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