Julia Rivard didn’t win a medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Still, her performance was impressive.
Ms. Rivard, along with her three teammates, finished in ninth place in the women’s 500-metre four-person kayak event. For Ms. Rivard, who started paddling only four years before the Sydney Olympics, that result displayed promise.
When the games ended, she faced two choices: train hard and aim for a podium finish in 2004 or pursue a traditional career path.
“I felt pressure to start bringing in some dough. So I hung up the paddle and retired,” she said. “I always had some regrets about that decision. With more time I really believe I could have gone to the top of the podium.”
That regret helped inspire Ms. Rivard’s most recent business project: Pursu.it, a crowdfunding website that allows Olympic hopefuls (and other athletes) to seek funding from fans, supporters and ordinary Canadians.
Launched in October, Pursu.it is part of a growing trend: crowdfunding websites that allow those in need of cash to raise small donations from a large pool of donors.