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Crowdfunding lets fans share Olympic dream

As the next Winter Olympics at Sochi loom, we will soon start hearing those perennial bad news stories about the lengths to which amateur athletes must go to acquire funding to train and compete. But this time, perhaps, a positive can be found, matching it to one of the hottest stories in social media and technology — crowdfunding. With the huge success of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, a week doesn’t go by without a story of a product, movie or creative pursuit being supported by the donations of backers, and the sports world has taken notice. There are at least two athlete-specific crowdfunding sites in Canada, Pursu.it and Makeachamp.com. Internationally, there are others like RallyMe, Sportsfunder and Involvedfan, so it is a clearly a growth area. Pursu.it started up just a year ago and was co-founded by Julia Rivard, a former Olympic kayaker, who beyond wanting to help with money, hopes to break the believe-in-and-then-forget cycle with amateur athletes and the Olympic Games. “I really think there are people all over the country that want to support these athletes, this is really about offering that conduit. Canadians are givers, and want to support causes, it’s just they haven’t been able to […]

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