“Cryptolympics”: Speed Skater Gets Paid in Cryptocurrency at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics
Cryptocurrency is gradually ruling the world. Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen has caught the crypto bug. The sportsman accepted a cryptocurrency payment for a sponsorship deal with a social network and a virtual reality firm at the ongoing Winter Olympics.
Of all the participants at the Peyongchang Winter Olympics, one athlete has decided to stand out from the crowd by accepting to be paid in blockchain-based digital currency and making history in the process.
Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen is the world’s first athlete to be paid in crypto for his services. According to CNN, he has signed a one-year sponsorship deal with ONG Social, a social network and crypto community, as well as CEEK VR, which is a firm in the virtual reality industry.
The world of Winter Olympics is not an easy one for its athletes especially concerning financial support. Bloemen is exploring a “whole new frontier,” his agent said. The double world record-holder will share his odyssey Olympic journey on the onG.Social network and will also feature in a 360 degrees virtual reality (VR) exercise on CEEK VR. All these activities could make Ted-Jan Bloemen a crypto millionaire.
In a joint statement with CEEK VR and onG.Social, the Olympic champion said, “Speed skating success is all about progression – building and building to peak at the right time.”
Athletes Soon to use VR to Train?
The CEO and founder of the virtual reality firm, Mary Spio, hinted that the deal is a smart move for the athlete and the company because a whole lot of athletes would use VR to improve their performance shortly. In her words:
“Bloemen’s support for cutting-edge technologies is reflective of his proclivity for pushing the boundaries. We believe Virtual Reality isn’t just great for our audience (Ceekers) but will ultimately be used for training and maximizing player performance and potential.”
Even with the volatility of cryptocurrency, Bloemen was super excited about the deal. He took to Twitter to express his feelings. He tweeted, “I’m very excited to be the first ever #crypto Sponsored Athlete. Thanks @CEEK #VirtualReality and @Ong_Social for being at the forefront of technology and this great achievement. Looking forward to a great relationship and the exciting times ahead.”
Although the details of Bloemen’s crypto sponsorship deal is undisclosed, he told Canada’s National Post that the agreement was a “minimum amount in cash, but most in cryptocurrencies.”
He added that:
“For me, the real risk of not getting anything is not there, because I got a little (cash) out of it already. And that combination makes this sponsorship really fun, right. Because we’re going to help each other. I’m trying to get them a little more exposure to make them succeed, and that would help all of us, right.”
Pioneering Positive Change
Bloemen’s agent and president of Baslaw & Associates Inc., Lawrence Baslaw, called the endorsement “a first for any athlete.” He also noted that:
“This is really a whole new frontier. It will be exciting to see how cryptocurrency can work for Ted-Jan, in particular, but also the impact it will have on the sport marketing industry as a whole.”
Sports and cryptocurrency are forming exciting and formidable partnerships. On January 25, BTCManager reported that English football club, Arsenal FC had inked a major partnership deal with CashBet Coin, a sports betting crypto company.
Another exciting event happened on February 2, when a Turkish soccer club paid for the transfer of a footballer, Omer Faruk Kiroglu, in bitcoin. These are exciting times indeed in the virtual currency world, and it only gets better with time.