The Jamaican bobsleigh team has received more than $30,000 worth of dogecoins from what can only be described as a community meme-loving bobsleigh enthusiasts.
The dogecoin community took to Reddit and made it all happen in less than a day. Technically the team has not qualified for the Sochi Olympics yet, but the team’s pilot Winston Watts is confident that his guys will make it through.
The only hurdle in their way is the Dutch team, which will probably be forced to withdraw as it has not managed to achieve the standard set by Holland’s national Olympic Committee. In other words, the last of the 30 bobsleigh teams to take part in the Olympics will either come from a Caribbean nation that gets most of its ice in cocktails, or the only country in Europe without a hill.
However, even with the Dutch team out of the way, the Jamaicans will need a bit of help, as they are about $40,000 short. The team needs more equipment and it has to cover travel expenses, but luckily the Jamaican bobsleigh team has quite a following. The Internet responded to their plea for donations by collecting more than 26m dogecoins, or about $33,000. Since dogecoin is very volatile, the community exchanged the dogecoins into bitcoins and pledged to transfer 35 BTC to the team.
FANS can now make a donation to our Jamaica Bobsleigh Team at http://t.co/f5FItpLRMl Thx #JamaicaBobsled #Sochi2014 pic.twitter.com/cA6Nu8bbGj
— Team Jamaica (@JamaicaOlympics) January 20, 2014
The team has also launched an indiegogo campaign with a target of $80,000, which should be raised over the next 20 days. It has managed to raise just over $5,000 in a single day, so it seems to be doing well – and anyone who pledges $50 will get a cool Team Jamaica T-shirt.
In addition to third-party funding, pilot Watts has already spent more than $165,000 of his own money to bring the team to Sochi. Watts clearly has a lot riding on the success of online funding drives, but so far it seems everything is going well.
The Jamaican bobsleigh team made their debut during the 1988 Olympics in Calgary and it quickly became a media darling. A fictionalized account of the original team’s exploits was the basis of Disney’s 1993 film Cool Runnings. The team remains the only Olympic bobsleigh team from a tropical nation to this day. Jamaica managed to qualify for the 1992, 1994 and 2002 Winter Olympics, but it has been absent from the Olympic scene since then.