A fundraiser in memory of the champion ski cross racer who died in a mountain biking accident in Squamish earlier this week surpassed its goal in less than 24 hours.
As of 3:15 p.m. Friday, the GoFundMe page to create a memorial fund in honour of 22-year-old Mikayla Martin had raised more than $16,000, beating its $10,000 goal.
According to the organizer of the fundraiser, who identifies herself as Julie Martin -- Mikayla's aunt -- funds will be used to provide "a scholarship to give to another promising young athlete who displays those same qualities of passion and exuberance and dedication and friendship and camaraderie" that Mikayla had.
In the description for the GoFundMe page, Julie Martin wrote that her niece had been skiing "almost as long as she could stand."
"Though Mikayla’s life has ended too soon, she LIVED every day of those short 22 years," Martin wrote. "Every time I saw her or talked to her she was learning or trying or experiencing something new. In what turned out to be the last month of her life, Mikayla got her motorcycle license, traveled to Australia, took two third-place finishes in the FIS Australian New Zealand Cup, got her scuba certification and dove on the Great Barrier Reef. There was no stopping this girl!"
Martin wrote that being an elite athlete in Canada comes with a "financial burden," which the memorial fund will help ease for future skiers. The family hopes the funds raised could become a permanent endowment for young Canadian athletes.
Mikayla Martin grew up in Squamish and was a member of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, where she was a promising alpine ski racer, according to Alpine Canada. She switched to Ski Cross after the 2016-17 alpine racing season and joined the Canadian national team in 2017.
In the summer of 2018, she was crowned FIS World Junior Champion at a Ski Cross competition in New Zealand. She joined the full national team last winter, and achieved two top-10 results in her first season of adult competition.
She died Tuesday after a mountain biking accident on the Slhanay trail system behind Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.