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Help Tonga to the Winter Olympics

$27,950 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 434 people in 3 months
My name is Pita Taufatofua and I am an Olympian from Tonga. After working for 15 years councelling homeless youth, I found my calling. My goal is to motivate and inspire people to reach for the best within them and I do that through setting seemingly "Impossible" goals and then moving mountains to achieve them. And that is how  a coconut from the pacific  found himself thousands of miles from home swimming around on Cross country skis in a constant state of hypothermia.


We are raising money to help me qualify  Tonga for a spot in the 2018 Winter Olympics and we only have 10 weeks to do it. 
We are seeking much needed funds to pay for some race worthy ski equipment which most countries spend tens of thousands of dollars on. My rental skis just didnt cut it and felt like dragging a sack of sweet potato through the snow. We also need funds to use till February entering 15-20 races and for transport and  accomodation so that I am able to defrost after each day on the snow.

The funds needed are for :-

1)$2k to get across to Europe
2) $10 k for race worthy ski equipment. Classic and freestyle skiing.
3)$8 K for transport and flights to 20 races throughout Europe.
4) $8K for accomodation for 3 months
5) $2K for ass hugging spandex race suit and training clothes
6)$10K for Coaching fees, recovery, food.

I will be donating 20% of all raised funds back to Royal Tonga ski federation to do my bit to help Tonga continue to find and train athletes into the future.

My training started with 4 weeks on snow in Germany (actually more time was spent upside down in the snow) followed by entry into the  World championships in Finland. I finished within 1 second of beating Indias best skier. The way I saw it, that meant I was better then 1.3 billion people in the world. i felt good.

So with a renewed spirit I paddled my canoe back to the warmth of the Pacific and started to train on a thing called roller skis. Basically, two scooters strapped to your feet. I found out very quickly that these things had no way of stopping. I skiied into many trees, people and cars. But slowly after a year of pain, things started to change and we saw big improvement.
I then drove 30 hrs sleeping in my car to get to my second race in Australia. I beat my best time by a solid minute and took 100 points off my FIS points. 

But now we need your help. I need to get across to Europe for the competition season leading into Pyeongchang. We only have weeks to qualify by having 5 races under 300 FIS points. I believe that with all of your help and support we can qualify and ensure that we are able to get Tonga a spot in the 2018 Winter Olympics
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So a lot has happened in the past week since we qualified. After such an intense qualification season I spent a few days with my brother in London while planning my next steps on our road to Korea.

We have been inundated with media requests and have been doing our best to respond to them whilst maintaining a tight training schedule.
On Monday I spent the day with Steve our head of ski team talking with potential equipment sponsors. We have some great leads for products which is fantastic and a big change to some of the difficulties we were having before equipment wise.

There is a chance that my father will be allowed to visit Korea from Tonga and watch me perform so I have decided to try my best to help him get across despite the financial restraints. My parents have been my biggest supporters throughout my life so it’s only right that I do what I can to help in whatever way I can. Hopefully we can make this happen somehow.

Right now I am in seefeld Austria training on the World Cup slopes. I will be here all week trying to improve and my coach Thomas will be joining me on Thursday.
Much love team!
Fitting for my race suit from fast52
My celebration meal from my Brother
With my coach Thomas and Steve
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We did it team ! On the last day of Olympic qualification for the freestyle technique I prayed for a miracle and I received that miracle. In one year of a new sport, We are taking Tonga to the Olympics!

I can’t begin to thank you all for the help you have given on getting us this far
From here on in funds will be put towards getting through the Olympic period and I will have a little more time to get every single persons name onto my jacket, we are in this together

Malo aupito for all of your love, kind messages, donations and support. Without it we could not have made it this far
Ofa atu
The moment we realised we qualified!
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We have travelled a long way to get across here to North western Iceland. It is as far from Tonga and the warmth of the Pacific then I had ever thought I would travel. My trip to the race in Croatia ended in Istanbul airport where a flight connection left me stranded and without a race. It was a long shot and I went for it. Sometimes they pay off, this time it didn’t. This is life.

I travelled here with my amigos from Chile and Mexico, to the ends of the world chasing this dream. We were stuck for two days unable to drive across the unforgiving Icelandic roads due to avalanches and a snow storm. Whilst stuck waiting for the storm to pass we pulled out our skis and trained on a local soccer field, less ideal then a perfectly groomed track but good enough until the storm passed.

We bought one way tickets as that is the best we could do and now we are here ready to race.
Driving conditions- low visibility
Freezing at the ends of the earth
Very very cold
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Hi guys I’m writing this update from a taxi speeding across from Armenia in the middle of the night to try and get me to the airport in Georgia, about 5-6 HRs away.

Today’s race the 10km skate here in Armenia didn’t work well for me at all. Yesterday the track conditions were hard and icy which suits me being heavier, then overnight we had a downpour of new snow which made the race and its 21 up hills very challenging for me.

We waxed my one pair of skis on the kitchen table this evening and quickly packed them while looking up flights to the 2.5km race in Croatia. There is a slim chance that I will arrive in time for the race but even a slim chance is a chance.
Yona waxed andgave me his ski to borrow
Todays course - 21 uphills!
On the way to today’s race
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$27,950 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 434 people in 3 months
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