When the USA men’s bobsled team found themselves $70,000 short for the Winter Olympics, they turned to a tried and tested fundraising idea: a naked calendar. The calendar, entitled Bob-Spread, was part of fundraising efforts by the team to make it to the Beijing Olympics, where they are currently competing.
In a GoFundMe the bobsled team created to fill a $70,000 gap in funding, they explained that the United States Olympic team receives no government funding.
“Athletes rely on sponsorships, federations, and secondhand jobs to fund their Olympic journey,” the team wrote, adding that COVID and delays to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics “resulted in us being unable to fully fund the men’s team”. With the Olympics drawing closer, bobsledder and photographer Jimmy Reed decided to create a provocative calendar to raise the money.
The calendars went on sale a few months ago, with USA Bobsled and Skeleton’s knowledge, but without any formal involvement with the national governing body. Announcing the sale on Instagram, Reed said: “This has been an incredibly fun and rewarding project to work on. “Is it over the top? Absolutely, yes. But it highlights what is unique about the sport of bobsledding. There is no one athlete or body type that can push a sled well. We are all different and push fast for different reasons.
The Bob-Spread highlights what’s not often seen beneath the helmets and the speed suits, albeit in a pretty ridiculous manner. As the photographer and creator of the calendar I am really proud of this… I also want to thank all the guys who helped with ideas, held lights, set up the studio with me, and were willing to strip down for the photos.”
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