Jamaican bobsled team raises $30,000 in Dogecoin for trip to Sochi

BY Zachary Treu  January 21, 2014 at 10:55 AM EDT
Photo by Robert Laberge /Getty Images

Users of the digital currency Dogecoin have raised more than $30,000 for Jamaica’s two-man bobsled team, seen here in 2002 at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Photo by Robert Laberge /Getty Images

Jamaica’s national bobsled team qualified for this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, 12 years after their last berth and 26 years after the Calgary games that inspired the 1993 film “Cool Runnings.” The problem: according to pilot Winston Watts, as of last week the team was still unsure if they would have enough money to make the trip to Russia.

“In truth, we still don’t really know at the moment if we’d even have enough funds or sponsorship to fly to Sochi itself for the Games itself. … It all depends. Our families need to be taken care of first. If there’s no funding, who knows?”

Enter Dogesled, a fundraiser organized by the Dogecoin Foundation, a charity run by the purveyors of a new Internet cryptocurrency.

The people behind Dogecoin, a digital currency similar to Bitcoin, set up Dogesled to help out Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon in their quest for Sochi. The fundraiser’s website indicates that Dogesled has raised more than $30,000 for the Jamaican team, and, according to The Guardian, donations continue to flood in.

Liam Butler, who runs the charitable Dogecoin Foundation out of Sydney with Dogecoin creators Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, explained his motivation to raise money for the team:

“As someone who grew up in the ’90s, ‘Cool Runnings’ was the ultimate feel-good movie about underdogs out of their element achieving their dreams. … When I was about 7 years old, my best friend and I had a billy-cart that his dad built. When we would start our run down his driveway, we would shout out the catchphrase from the movie: ‘Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time!’”