What does a Shiba Inu have to do with the 2014 Jamaican bobsled team? The answer may surprise you, as one famous dog has inspired a curious campaign to fund another Olympic run for the “coolest” bobsled team since 1988. It’s an unlikely story, so we’ll start by explaining the current predicament of the beloved Olympic underdogs before explaining how another “underdog” came to their rescue.
Jamaica’s Sled Team Needs Help
Every four years, the world gathers to compete in tests of speed and strength in the name of diplomacy through friendly competition. Though the Olympic Winter Games inspires unity and participation across the globe, not all countries compete in all events; this means that when a country qualifies unexpectedly, it can cause quite the uproar. One example of this is the 1988 run of the first Jamaican bobsled team, whose story would go on to inspire the movie Cool Runnings.
Now, for the first time since, a Jamaican bobsled team has qualified to compete in the two-man bobsled competition. Winston Watts, the sled driver that led the team in qualifying rounds, has stated that with only eight days until the games, the team still faces one gargantuan problem: funding. The team, which began with no funding whatsoever, has sought help from the recent crowdfunding tools, Crowdtilt and IndieGogo to raise the $80,000 goal estimated to cover competition costs.
The team currently has only 8 days left to raise the rest of the funds needed. Both campaigns are receiving moderate success; however, together, both efforts are well short of the team’s goal. But the cavalry is reportedly on its way, with an unexpected source of funding offering its support.
Dogecoin’s Timing Just May Be Impeccable
The Internet has spawned some odd ideas and its new innovations never cease to create immeasurable impacts year over year. One such creation is the currency known as the BitCoin, whose presence on the web grew until it became one of the most valuable currencies in the world. Currently valued at over $800 per digital coin, the currency has inspired the development of alternate digital currencies.
Combining the internet’s love of stupid jokes with its propensity for creating value, programmers have recently launched a currency known as the DOGE. This new bartering tool quickly became popular for simple online transactions due to its namesake, the Doge meme. For those unfamiliar with the beloved internet in-joke, “Doge” is a popular type of image posted to image boards and blogs around the web. The joke consists of an image of a Shiba Inu surrounded by expressions of astonished befuddlement transcribed in vibrant Comic Sans.
The new currency quickly gained value and has been proliferating throughout the web as users spread the currency through online donations and transactions. Though the DOGE is gaining traction, its community is actively seeking opportunities to gain further publicity and clout. The community, known for its philanthropic tenets, has decided to demonstrate the currency’s value through donations.
Doge to the Rescue
While discussing the currency and future marketing plans to propel the currency into the public eye, members of the Reddit community on the message board dedicated to the currency, /r/dogecoin, suggested using DOGE to sponsor the Jamaican bobsled team. The online community posted two separate attempts at launching a campaign to raise the necessary funds through community donations taken entirely in DOGE.
Within one day of the original suggestion, the Dogecoin Foundation’s website created an official initiative to collect funds for the team. The initiative received an outpouring of donations from the community, quickly amassing more than 26 million doge coins. The donations have been exchanged for the BitCoin, which is viewed as a more stable currency. Currently, the foundation lists the donation total at 35 BTC and 860,000 DOGE, or approximately $35,128.62.
With additional crowd sourcing efforts from Crowdtilt and IndieGogo, it seems as though the Jamaican bobsled team has the full $80,000 in funds needed to reach their goal. The three campaigns continue to gather more funds with each passing day. As though from a movie, the Jamaican bobsled team finds improbable aid thanks to the Internet and its generous patronage. Though Internet users shouldn't be surprised because- as the DogeFoundation would like to remind us- Doge is love, Doge is life.