Jamaican bobsled team turns to crowdfunding to get to Winter Olympics

January 21
3:58 AM 2014

The Jamaican bobsled team has turned to online crowdfunding sites to raise funds to cover their costs so they can compete in this year's Winter Olympics, ABC News reported. The last time the Jamaican team competed was in 2002 when the Winter Olympics was held in Salt Lake City. The report said the other athletes are also turning to crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Reddit's Dogecoin to come up with funds that will allow them to shoulder the costs of their trip.

Crowdfunding site Crowdtilt has already gathered over $25,909 for the Jamaican bobsled team while Indiegogo was able to collect around $16,000. The Indiegogo campaign is being sponsored by the Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation. The organization and Twitter fans are using the hashtag #CoolRunnings to promote the campaign in reference to the Disney movie made in 1993 which was based on the bobsled team's debut in 1988 at the Canadian Olympics, the report said.

ABC News reported that another website called RallyMe was made specifically to help fund athletes who find themselves in strapped for cash. One of the athletes raising money through the RallyMe platform is American ski jumper Lindsey Van. To date, she has gathered $20,800, the report said.

In a December 12, 2013 report, RallyMe founder Bill Kering told ABC News that his crowdfunding site has already raised around $500,000 so far. Kering explained that RallyMe works similarly to Kickstarter except for the fact that the platform is exclusive for athletes, sports organizations, teams and other creative projects focused on sports. Kickstarter, on the other hand, excludes this group from using their site to raise money.

Donors who contribute money on RallyMe will also be eligible to get "swag" or an item or service that the money-seeker gives to the donor as a token of appreciation, the report said.

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