Nordic Insights wants to pursue boots-on-the-ground journalism from the biggest races on the continent this season. But we need your help.
U.S. Nationals will be in Houghton, Michigan, in early January 2023. World Juniors/U23s will be in Whistler, B.C., in late January and early February. We’re going to be there.
We want to send someone to both races, but we are a startup website with no current income stream, and we need your help. It will cost approximately $2,500 per race series to send a reporter there (more on costs below). We’re asking you to help send our main reporter, Gavin Kentch, to both Houghton and Whistler.
These will be bare-bones trips, to put it kindly. Gavin will fly coach. He will not eat in restaurants. He will literally bring oatmeal with him from home for breakfast, and will bring brown rice and prepackaged Indian food from the Anchorage Costco for dinner. Whistler should be manageable with mileage tickets to Vancouver (cost to you, the reader: $0), an airport shuttle from there to the venue, and no rental car. Houghton will require a car, since it is far away from, well, everything, but lodging in the Houghton/Calumet greater metropolitan area will be cheaper than in Whistler.
These will be working trips. Gavin will wake up, eat his oatmeal (cost to you: $0), go to the venue, stand around for hours to take photos and get quotes, go back home, heat up brown rice and Tasty Bite Indian food (cost to you: $0), then write on deadline for six hours straight. Repeat for a week. He will have shorter hours than the wax techs, but longer hours than the athletes. He will leave having seen basically nothing of Houghton or Whistler other than the venue and his Airbnb. It is not a very glamorous life.
Here’s the fine print: We will collect donations for both trips through GoFundMe, a visible, independent, third-party site. Gavin will travel to both race series and work his butt off to report. He will then submit expenses to a neutral third party, and will publish a full accounting on this site showing how cheaply he was able to travel.
Any money in excess of actual expenses will then be donated to NNF. If we raise $6,000 here and the trips cost a total of $5,000, we will donate $1,000 to the National Nordic Foundation. If we raise $7,000, we will donate $2,000 to NNF. And so on. (The NNF board will then distribute the money as it sees fit, so we will not be in the position of directly giving funds to athletes whom we cover as journalists.)
In-person reporting is the only way to get the best, same-day stories from a race series. Do you want to know what the weather was really like? How the course skied? What conditions were like on the final turn? Get us to these races, and we’ll get you these stories. Donate here. Thank you for your support.