If you go
What: CU Freestyle Ski Team fundraiser
When: Nov. 7, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Fresh Thymes Eatery, 2500 30th St. #101, Boulder
Mention the CU Freestyle Ski Team fundraiser to have 10 percent of sales go to the team.
Other ways to help: http://cufst.com/">http://cufst.com/, or on Crowdrise, http://crowdrise.com/cufstworlds2013/fundraiser/cufst, or RallyMe, https://rallyme.com/rallies/283
University of Colorado student Katie Hitchcock started skiing when she was a toddler in Steamboat Springs. Now, she hopes to bust out some high-flying tricks on sticks at a freestyle skiing competition in Trentino, Italy, along with teammates from the University of Colorado's Freestyle Ski Team
But getting to Europe — with your ski equipment — is expensive. So this fall, the team is putting their efforts into both training and fundraising for the World University Games.
The team won freestyle nationals this year, their fifth win in the discipline that includes slopestyle, halfpipe and moguls. That win earned them the chance to represent the U.s. at the World University Games, in Italy.
"They're a pretty big deal," said Lauren Rainen, one of the freestyle team's coaches. "They are called second to the Olympics."
The Games — which include sports from alpine skiing to freestyle, snowboarding, ice hockey and more — start Dec. 11. Fifty-nine countries will be competing.
Palmer Hoyt, the team's head coach, said that because freestyle skiing is a club sport, not a varsity sport, the team has little help from CU.
"CU is providing very little financial support, because the university has many other things going on and freestyle skiing is not high on the priority list," Hoyt said.
Next week, the team will be host a fundraiser at Fresh Thymes Eatery; 10 percent of restaurant's sales will go to the team's travel expenses. The team has also gathered donations from Hestra Gloves, Zeal Optics and Orage Outerwear for a raffle they haven't yet scheduled.
Meanwhile, the students are preparing for the possible trip in their own ways. Hitchcock will be studying abroad in Italy right after the World Games, and she's excited to be able to speak Italian and soak up another continent's ski culture.
"I hope to meet international students who are as passionate of skiing as I am and can show me the ropes around European mountains," she said.
Coach Rainen said the team has great skills and terrific leaders. She hopes they meet their fundraising goal.
"It's really fun to inspire them, teaching them the skills I have and pushing them to their potentials, which is really cool," she said. "We would really love to take everyone."
Hoyt said he hopes that the team's hard work will pay off — and put freestyle skiing higher on the university's priority list.
"We still have a big hill to climb in terms of fundraising, but I'm optimistic that we'll make it," he said.
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