A Crossfield woman has started an online crowdfunding page to support Olds wrestler Danielle Lappage as she trains for the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro this summer.
Emily Gatez, 21, is dating Lappage’s brother Austin. She created the GoFundMe page on Jan. 31, knowing that Lappage’s training would be a full-time commitment.
“We’re trying to raise some money for her so she’s not stressed on her finances and more focused on her training,” Gatez said
In 11 days, 16 people have contributed $1,425.
Gatez said she believes the generosity is a result of Lappage’s strong connection to Olds.
“The opportunity is amazing because she’s a small-town girl that became an Olympian. Everybody wants to be a part of it. They want to feel like, when they see her on T.V., they can say, ‘hey, I supported her because she’s from my hometown,'” she said.
Money raised would also help the family attend the once-in-a-lifetime experience, she added.
For herself, a Red Deer College business student, Gatez said she would make the trip to Rio in August if she can earn enough money.
Gatez was among those who made the trip to Sherwood Park in December to watch Lappage earn her spot on the national team.
“I had never watched wrestling before, so I didn’t really know what it was like going in. I was shocked, it was amazing,” she said.
“I feel so proud to have lived for a while in the place where she’s from and to know her, because it’s just such a great honour that she’s getting to go to the Olympics and represent our country and represent Olds and everything it stands for.”
The GoFundMe page can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/lappageroad2rio