US skier Megan McJames did not initially make it on the US skiing team, but through hard work and generous donations she found a way to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Star skier Lindsey Vonn is out injured and McJames will take her spot.
She raised $80,000 from donors and sponsors, hired her own coach, prepared her own training courses and arranged her own travel all season long.
“There were definitely some challenges and I’m really proud of myself to be able to overcome it and come here,” McJames said Monday after a training session on the slopes at Rosa Khutor.
She won the Nor-Am Cup title last season, which meant she could enroll in any World Cup race. McJames finished in points twice in two giant slalom races, 23rd in Switzerland and 26th in France.
McJames is not the only person to be independent. Tina Maze of Switzerland, who won two gold medals, is with an independent team and Bode Miller used to be with an independent team. Despite all the challenges, McJames is happy to be in Sochi and representing the USA. Her first event will be the slalom on Friday night, but her best shot at a medal is in the giant slalom on Saturday.