Even Olympic athletes need to fundraise

Sitting on a 6 hour flight home yesterday, I pulled out the Fast Company magazine my husband bought in the airport. I had exhausted my stack of fluff magazines, so this was really a last ditch effort to erase my boredom. And shocker – it was filled with philanthropic ideas!

The article that I can’t seem to shake was 7 Creative Ways Pro Athletes Fund Their Way To The Olympics. What’s that now? Athletes need to find ways to fund their God-given talents? What about all those Nike and Gatorade sponsorships? Even the guys who drive for NASCAR get to put lots of shiny big-money stickers on their cars.

So wait. God gave these fine folks the greatest abilities in their field, for which they train as a full time job, and yet they need to raise money to compete in the most prestigious events in history, not to mention raising money just to pay the daily bills?

My favorite stories mentioned:

Ben Kjar, an American freestyle wrestler and man with an incredible story, was able to raise $2 for every like on his facebook page in April thanks to his sponsor. Seriously, check out his blog to read more about his journey. It’s quite spectacular. Donations accepted on his website Face of a Champion.

Esso Watches is also helping to support his Olympic dreams by donating all proceeds when you use the promo code “benkjar2012” and you’ll also receive a $5 discount for every watch you purchase.

(photo from AmeriFace.org)

Nick Symmonds, an American half-miler, went on eBay auctioned space on his shoulder for a temporary tattoo during his competitions, raising $11,000. His brilliant auction was less about raising funds and more about making a statement about sponsorship regulations. But still. Brilliant fundraising and statement making! (Read more)

(photo from Nick Symmonds.com)

Since reading the article, I have attempted to find other athletes in need of donations. I know they are out there, but it’s difficult to find those individual stories. Know of anyone? Send them my way!

In the meantime, donations can be made to Support Team USA. These dollars are obviously not digging wells, ending malnutrition, or even providing much needed shelter. But they are supporting the hard work and dedication of incredibly talented individuals. I will always be a fan of someone who focuses their time and energy on the gifts that God gave them.

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