The venture capitalist making Olympic dreams come true

Updated 5:16 AM ET, Sat February 24, 2018

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Story highlights

  • Paul Bragiel always wanted to be an Olympian
  • He set out to find an easy way in, but never quite made it
  • Now, he invests in other Olympic dreamers

(CNN)Being an Olympian doesn't come cheap.

By the time the average Winter Olympic athlete, who is unable to obtain sponsorship, has trained, qualified and competed, they can be thousands of dollars out of pocket.
For the likes of Tonga's Pita Taufatofua and German Madrazo from Mexico, that kind of financial commitment could have been prohibitive to participation at one of the world's greatest events.
The unlikely duo -- who became friends as they traveled the world taking part in Olympic qualifying races -- provided one of the images of the Pyeongchang Games as they celebrated finishing the men's 15 kilometer cross country skiing far behind the leaders in Pyeongchang.
But without the backing of a wealthy benefactor who once had Olympic ambitions of his own, they might not have even got to the start line.