High bill could sink Olympic dream of Winnipeg canoeist

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Global's Mitch Rosset explains how Nadya Crossman-Serb's Olympic dream could be cut short – May 1, 2017

WINNIPEG – Training takes up most of Nadya Crossman-Serb’s time. Countless hours of hard work that has paid off.

The Winnipegger has made waves around the world as part of Canada’s canoe crew. She’s won several medals including a silver at the 2016 ICF U23 Canoe Sprint World Championships. In fact, she’s the first ever woman from Manitoba to make the team.

“There’s nothing really like it,” Crossman-Serb said. “I always think about it but it’s hard to put into words.”

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A feeling that could sink if she fails to reach her next goal.

“This year, I’ve been more stressed out than before,” Crossman-Serb said.

“There’s been a lot of sleepless nights. I didn’t have a fun time training this winter.”

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The 20-year-old owes Canoe Kayak Canada more than $7,000. The money helps cover coaching and competition costs. If the bill isn’t paid by next week’s national team trials, she won’t be able to participate.

“In the past, if you medaled at international competitions, you got subsidies,” Crossman-Serb said. You paid less or not at all. Last year, they didn’t offer that.”

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To help raise the cash, Crossman-Serb has turned to crowdfunding. It’s her only option as even a part-time job is out of the question.

“Once you get to that level, it’s almost 24 hours of training,” Manitoba Paddling Association head coach Jerome Seremak said. “You do everything in your life gearing towards that next race.”

All part of the pursuit of the ultimate paddling dream.

“I’ve been thinking about the Olympics since I was a five-year-old,” Crossman-Serb said. ” It’s pretty much the huge goal right now.”

To help Crossman-Serb reach her goal, you can donate to her crowdfunding campaign at

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