In just a matter of days, the Olympic flame will be lit in London to kick off the 2012 Olympic Games, and whether its in the crowds in the stands or around television sets, the whole world is sure to be watching.
These same crowds also used Indiegogo to help send some of the athletes we’ll all watch compete to London — a new precedent in crowdfunding. It’s fitting that a truly global crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo would be used to help fulfill the dreams of another global platform — the Olympic Games.
Perhaps it’s easy to forget that not all talented athletes have lucrative endorsement deals or the support of government budgets, and it’s moving to see athletes gain the support of others to fulfill their dreams while picking up new fans all along the way. Here are some of those Olympic campaigns:
Sarah Robles, America’s top-ranked weightlifter, was struggling to live on the small stipend given to her from USA Weightlifting, so a friend of hers started a campaign to cover her last month of training before the Olympics and help send her coach to London. The campaign is approaching $20,000 — the original goal was $2,500.
Canadian Olympian, Donna Vakalis, needed an expensive laser gun in order to compete in the Modern Pentathlon in London. Podcasters “Jordan, Jesse, Go!” started a campaign to buy her one and quickly overshot (pun intended) their goal of $2,900.
Another Canadian! Sarah Wells is on her way to London to compete in the 400M Hurdles after receiving over $10,000 in contributions to cover everything from training to making sure her parents can accompany her to the Games.
There’s also Ben St Lawrence, an Australian runner, who will be competing in the 10,000M and whose friends ran a campaign to help pay for his training. Also, after doing a short video on Team Lesotho’s marathon runner Tsepo Ramonene, a pair of filmmakers started a campaign to make sure he could attend school when he returns from London. And, so not to leave the Winter Olympics out of this growing trend, an American “skeleton slider” has already funded the equipment she needs to make the team for 2014 in Russia.
Good luck to all the athletes Indiegogo has funded as well as everyone else competing this summer in London!
What events will you be watching? Tell us in the comments!