NEVER mind ghost-written gold medal memoirs, cash-strapped British biathlete Scott Dixon has put pen to paper to boost his bid to reach next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Beset by funding cuts, Dixon has published his first children’s book as part of a crowd-funding campaign to raise the £4,000 required to continue his qualifying campaign on the World Cup circuit.

Dixon and fellow British biathlete Amanda Lightfoot were told this month that ailing governing body the British Biathlon Union could no longer afford to fund their travel.

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Aviemore racer Dixon said: “I never intended to write kids’ books but writing was always a hobby of mine and when my dad’s partner had another child I thought I’d give it a try.

“I did all the writing and spend 300 hours learning to draw so I could do all the illustrating myself. It has helped raise £2,000 in its first week alone.”

Pup The Brave tells the story of a puppy who is stranded on one side of a river and needs to overcome its fear of swimming in order to safely reach its friend on the other side.

Dixon says he has more books in the pipeline and he may well need them after admitting the financial crisis currently afflicting the domestic sport is the worst he can remember.

Three BBU committee members resigned in January, citing the seemingly insurmountable funding battle, but the board was reconstituted which at least enabled the team to retain a presence on the World Cup circuit.

“We’ve always had a financial crisis and we’ve always managed to come out of it, partly because we’ve had a certain amount of money from the international governing body,” said Dixon. “But the BBU is run by volunteers and there’s no money.”

Visit https://www.pledgesports.org/projects/biathlete-olympic-dream/