Like everyone else, we’ve been glued to our screens watching the Winter Olympics, as PyeongChang 2018 has delivered no shortage of thrills. Taking place in South Korea, the action has been unstoppable so far, with it arguably being the most exciting Winter Olympics to date. In a surprise twist, this year’s incarnation of the event has had a Bitcoin influence, as the USA Luge team isn’t just looking to become gold medalists on the track, but champions for cryptocurrency as well!
On the campaign trail
Donations make up a big part of sports funding – especially in the case of sports that don’t quite fit within the mainstream – with the USA Luge Foundation campaigning for Bitcoin donations since the end of 2017. Due to the nature of the Winter Olympics, visible sponsorship on attire is forbidden, so the USA Luge Foundation has had to find other ways to promote the world’s leading cryptocurrency. Promising to advertise Bitcoin during future events, it seems that a relationship between Bitcoin and the fastest rising winter sport could well be blossoming.
Striking a new ground for funding
The USA Luge team is the very first US Olympic team to setup a Bitcoin funding operation. In many ways the team and the trendsetting crypto make for the perfect pair, as both are high speed, volatile, and have the power to deliver quite the rush. Speaking on how Bitcoin and the USA Luge Foundation makes for the perfect pairing, Gordy Sheer (Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics silver medallist, USA Luge Marketing Director) said, “You know, we hear a lot of jokes about lugers being crazy, and people don’t know why we do it. But luge is something that gets into your blood and transforms your life and the Bitcoiners we’ve met know exactly what it’s like to be all in on something that the world doesn’t appreciate yet. We’ve looked at Bitcoin hard, and it is definitely a risk-reward we understand and are eager to take.”
The new fund has come flying out of the gate in true luge fashion; with it being fitting that one of the early donors was a former Olympian in his own right. Ty Danco – the leading Wall Street investor and Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics competitor – sees Bitcoin as the right fit for the USA Luge Foundation moving forward. Following his donation, Dance said, “It’s such a natural and good fit for the team. The luge team is not thinking short term, but long. By hodling Bitcoin with the express goal of holding on through the 2022 and 2026 Olympic Games, the sport hopes to change from being underfunded to being able to support full teams on the World Cup level at the same time as developing grassroots youth programs to develop athletes. Bitcoin is still in its early days, and hats off to USA Luge for being both brave and prescient to ride this wave.”
Making Bitcoin more visible
The donation setup works on a tier system, so depending on how much BTC the USA Luge Foundation is able to generate will dictate how much they’re willing to promote Bitcoin. Here’s how the donation levels break down:
- 5 BTC – Bitcoin’s logo will appear on all USA Luge team hats and memorabilia hats.
- 10 BTC – On top of the above, all luge team outerwear for the upcoming season (Winter Olympics excluded) will include a sewn on Bitcoin logo.
- 25 BTC – All of the above, plus Bitcoin’s logo will be used in the design of sleds over the next two luge seasons.
- 50 BTC – As above, but with the Bitcoin logo incorporated into sleds for the next four luge seasons.
- 100 BTC – Should donations reach this level, it’ll be a case of all of the above, plus the inclusion of the Bitcoin logo on team skin suits for four years.
With a touch of humor, the team has promised to find “Find Satoshi, and get him on a sled” if they can raise 21 million Bitcoin. Obviously, this is the maximum amount of mineable Bitcoin, so it isn’t going to happen, but seeing the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto” heading riding the luge would probably make for quite the sight.
BTC powers the USA Luge team at PyeongChang 2018!
Sport and Bitcoin was once thought to be an impossible partnership, but things are certainly growing in 2018. Whether it’s football clubs making transfers using BTC, football clubs announcing ICO partnerships, or Olympic teams working with Bitcoin to generate funds, Bitcoin is becoming a sporting mainstay these days. It’s great to see Bitcoin make such great strides into the world of sport, with it being safe to say that the Bitcoin community might well be rally behind Team USA at PyeongChang 2018!