When Elise Freezer started skating at age 5 and showed great potential, her parents were all in.
Nearly from the start, that meant private lessons to the tune of $20,000 a year. And the costs only escalated.
Elise's parents, Jennifer and Matt, downsized to a small apartment and one car. Matt worked two jobs before starting his own engineering business in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Jennifer estimates that skating costs for Elise, now 11 and at the intermediate level, add up to roughly $60,000 a year — including lessons, registration fees, ice time and travel.
"It's a sport that requires technical direction all the time," Jennifer Freezer said. "We tried to cut back on lessons but she struggled."
To make it work, the Freezers commute to a highly regarded but less expensive training facility in Edmonton, Alberta. They don't take vacations or eat out.
"We make the sacrifices and we still wonder if we can continue on this track," she said.