Lack of funding could ruin next bid at Olympics

Great Britain's Stacey Kemp and David King in the Pairs short program during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.  Photo: David Davies
Great Britain's Stacey Kemp and David King in the Pairs short program during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Photo: David Davies
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Ice skating duo Stacy Kemp and David King face a huge uphill battle ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Kemp, from Chorley and her partner and fiance King did extremely well to make the Sochi games after the pair were starved of funding.

The duo had to rely on the generosity of their parents to reach Russia as funding from UK Sport was not

forthcoming.

It costs the eight-times British champions £25,000 a year for coaching and facilities with travel costs also adding to the total.

And King is unsure whether he and Kemp will be able to afford to reach the South Korean games.

He said: “We should be in good shape physically for South Korea but we don’t want to let our parents pay for everything any more.

“We want to go there but whether we can afford it, I really don’t know.”

The duo trained in Poland for five years before moving to a base in Florida.

And King admits it came as a shock when their funding was dramatically reduced.

He added: “Since the Vancouver Games, we have received no UK sport funding.

“We get a little bit from our federation, who pay towards our flights for major events, but nothing other than that.”

“Going into Vancouver, we had brilliant funding, and we were really determined to be in Sochi.

“But after we competed at Vancouver, the money just stopped, every last bit of it.

“It was a shock to us. Everyone kept saying that because London got the summer Olympics, the winter athletes were losing out. That’s the only reason we ever heard.”

The duo exited the Sochi games last week after another night of turmoil.

Kemp hit the floor during a pairs short programme and were only awarded 44.98.

They could only manage 19th place and missed out on the qualifying spots.

Earlier in the week, they had failed to impress judges in the their first event as well.