Two cents blog

A crowdsourced bobsled team. Now that’s cool.

by Paul Cornwell on 22 January 2014

Remember the ‘Cool Runnings’ movie about the Jamaican bobsleigh team at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada?

It was based on a true story about an unlikely team of winter olympians from a country that has no snow.

They single-handedly changed the face of the winter olympics.

post_a-crowdsourced-bobseld-team

Recently I read about another Jamaican team who have qualified for the Sochi winter olympics in Russia next month in the two man bobsled event.

Pilot Winston Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon qualified but lacked the funds to actually compete.  Apparently they were $90,000 short of the budget they needed to put their campaign together.

This story spread and was spotted by Liam Butler and Jackson Palmer from the online currency brand Dogecoin.

As Cool Runnings fans they were quick to put together a campaign to raise funds for the Jamaicans. They asked for donations in Dogecoins; the internet crypto currency.

Only hours after the campaign was announced on Reddit users had donated millions of Dogecoins worth about $34,000.

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And, other funds were crowdsourced online via fundraising sites like Crowdtilt ($58,000) and Indiegogo ($26,000)

Via online news, social media, crowd sourcing and online currency the funds were raised within hours.  Absolutely amazing.

I’m looking forward to the winter olympics in Sochi next month.  In fact I can hardly wait.  I love the downhill ski racers, the aerial skiers, the speed skating and the ski jumping just to name a few.

Apart from the sport itself I’m fascinated by what this international event will do to the social media and online landscape.

Already we’ve seen a national bobsled team get funded online.  But I suspect we’re going to witness all sorts of interesting changes, from stricter media rules for athletes through to the Russians censoring images more than any other host country.

I’m planning to observe all this as the event unfolds and report what I see.  I do hope you’ll join me on the ride as I blog my way through it.

Paul Cornwell is a Managing Director at BCM

- Alan Kewley on January 23

It should be interesting for all sorts of reasons. The bobsled should certainly be quicker than ever this time around. Aussie hurdler Jana Pittman is just one of a number of Olympic sprint and hurdle champions to pull on the extra thick lycra for the Winter Olympics this time around.

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