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I can’t see the money from up here

Imaging you are at the top of a ski hill looking down. All you see is a steep hill with…

By Krysia Collyer , in Blogs For the love of sport or money , on February 13, 2008

Imaging you are at the top of a ski hill looking down. All you see is a steep hill with a giant jump 2/3rds down. Then all of a sudden you take off down the ski hill at 60 kilometers an hour, and you launch yourself 50 feet into the air off the jump. While in the air, you contemplate whether you should perform a double full, full, full * or a triple back somersault with five twists. Finally, on your way back to land, you position yourself so that your two feet are able to continue skiing down the hill once they touch the ground.

Now imagine that is your job.

For aerialist skier, Steve Omischl of Kelowna, B.C., it is. And you would think that with all the skill and talent required these athletes would make millions of dollars to compete. Or at least receive danger pay.

Well, if you think that, you would be wrong. Dead wrong!

Athletes like Omischl don’t get the opportunity to be paid large sums of cash because of he is an amateur athlete, which essentially means that he trains and competes to represent his country worldwide and possibly at the Olympics.

However, amateur athletes do receive compensation in other ways, like through endorsement deals, government funding, and the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) prize money awarded at World Cup events.

The following is a breakdown of the FIS prize money standings awarded per competition.

The breakdown is based on the minimum amount of $15, 000:

1st place $6,500.– 43.30%

2nd place $3,300.– 22.00%

3rd place $2,000.– 13.30%

4th place $1,000.– 6.67%

5th place $700.– 4.67%

6th place $500.– 3.33%

7th place $400.– 2.67%

8th place $300.– 2.00%

9th place $200.– 1.33%

10th place $100.– 0.68%


Total $15,000.— 100.00%

It doesn’t quite compare to some of those sissy sports, where the athletes are paid millions upon millions of dollars for rounding the bases.

There, I said it!

Anyway, it is also important to note that Omischl won gold this past weekend at the World Cup freestyle ski competition held at Cypress Mountain, the venue that will host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Despite the foggy weather, Omischl was able to pull-off his fourth win this ski season.

*Double full, full, full: Three flips with four twists. Two twists on the first flip off the jump.

-With files from


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