The road to Olympic glory for figure skaters is an expensive one (Video)

Yahoo Sports

When you’re watching athletes compete in the Olympics, it’s easy to forget how much work it takes to reach the highest level of sport.

And as “I, Tonya,” an Oscar-nominated film about figure skater Tonya Harding, shows, it takes way more than just hard work. The rise to Olympic prominence is extremely expensive, too. Just ask American figure skaters.

“It truly is extremely expensive,” U.S. figure skater Karen Chen told Yahoo Sports. “My family has had to make so many sacrifices for me to keep skating and keep doing what I love doing.”

With the equipment, costumes, coaching fees, private ice time and traveling all part of the equation for figure skaters, families can quickly spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a monthly basis.

That take its toll on families in a variety of ways.

“My mom quit her job to support me. I’ve been living in a split-family situation since I was 8 years old,” Vincent Zhou told Yahoo Sports. “My mom and I had to move away in order for me to train.”

Added Adam Rippon: “When I was like 20, I took over all of the finances for my skating. I know what it’s like to have no dollars in your bank account. I know what it’s like to only afford a huge bag of trail mix and be like, ‘I guess this is what I’m eating for the week.’”

Adam Rippon of the United States reacts following his performance in the men’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Adam Rippon of the United States reacts following his performance in the men’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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