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Monday
Jan202014

Jamaica Bobsled Team Crowdfunds to Get to Olympics

Robert Laberge/Getty Images(SOCHI, Russia) -- Last competing in the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002, the Jamaican bobsled team has qualified to compete once again this year -- if they can raise enough cash to cover the costs. But unlike a decade ago, the Jamaican team and other athletes are going to online sites like Reddit and Indiegogo to cover their costs.

The crowdfunding website Crowdtilt has raised more than $25,909 for the team while a fundraising site on Indiegogo has raised about $16,000.

With the hashtag #CoolRunnings, the Jamaican Bobsleigh Federation, which is sponsoring the Indiegogo campaign, and fans on Twitter aren't ashamed to capitalize on the 1993 Disney movie that was based on the team's 1988 Olympic debut in Canada.

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After the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation announced the qualifiers to compete next month in Sochi, including U.S. track star Lolo Jones, the Jamaica Olympic Association congratulated the team of four and said, "once again, the pride of the country is with our athletes who continue to blaze the trail."

Members of the Jamaican bobsled team are not the only Olympians fundraising online. The website RallyMe, unlike Kickstarter, which excludes teams and athletic competitors, was created specifically for athletes in financially precarious situations.

American ski jumper Lindsey Van is raising money on RallyMe to join the first group of women to compete in Olympic ski jumping ever at Sochi. She has raised over $20,800 so far.

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