Send out gay speed skater Blake Skjellerup to the World Cup and Olympics

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Speed skater Blake Skjellerup aims to be the first out gay male to ever compete in the Winter Olympics, and to do it in Russia. Your support can get him there!
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Cyd Zeigler
2,153 Facebook Friends
Sports
Christchurch
New Zealand
4 Team Members

Wow! Incredible -- but WE'RE NOT DONE YET to get Blake the full $33k he needs!

Thank you to everyone who has, in the first 36 hours, put us over our minimum goal! It has taken the entire community to do this, so thank you!

Our ultimate goal has always been the full
$33k that Blake needs to compete at his highest level in the World Cups and the Winter Olympics. Please continue to spread the word on this campaign, and let's get Blake every penny he needs!

Help send openly gay speed skater Blake Skjellerup to Sochi Olympics!

Despite Russia's new anti-gay laws, the calls to move the Winter Olympics from Sochi have fallen on deaf ears. The IOC has said waving of rainbow flags -- or any pro-LGBT commentary -- by Olympians could violate its rules. Seemingly every avenue to make a statement of LGBT-rights support at the Olympic Games is being cut off.

But there's one message they cannot stop: Openly gay speed skater Blake Skjellerup!

The LGBT community and its allies have an opportunity to support this openly gay athlete and send him to the Olympic Games as our out, proud representative! That's why the You Can Play project, Outsports, GLAAD, the StandUp Foundation, Out magazine & The Advocate, Athlete Ally, and many members of the LGBT sports movement and the larger community are getting behind this fundraising campaign to send Blake all of the resources he needs in the next few months to once again qualify for the Winter Olympics and to perform at his highest level in Sochi!

Blake needs our help. Despite some misconceptions, Olympic speed skaters aren't flush with funds. He lives with family and commutes an hour each way on a train every day to his training center to save money. 

To qualify for the Olympics and compete at his highest level, he needs resources he doesn't have access to at this time. And we -- the LGBT community and our allies -- can give them to him and make him the inspiration of the worldwide LGBT community at the Winter Olympics in Sochi!

Why Blake needs our support now

Despite what many may think, Olympic speed skaters do not live in posh apartments sipping champagne. When asked what it means financially to be an Olympic speed skater, Blake said, "bankruptcy." He struggles just to cover living costs. What he needs help with now is the funds to access key coaching assistance for the World Cups and the Olympics.

For Blake to qualify for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, he will need to finish in the top 32 at the World Cups this autumn. These four key events are:

   Sept. 26-29, Shanghai, China
   Oct. 3-6, Seoul, South Korea
   Nov. 7-10, Torino, Italy
   Nov. 14-17, Kolomna, Russia

Blake needs at least $15k to compete at a high level in these four World Cup events and qualify for the Sochi Olympics. To get everything he needs to compete at his HIGHEST level possible, he will need at $33k. We've set the campaign goal at the MINIMUM he needs with the hope and expectation that we can get him EVERYTHING he needs. All donated funds go directly to Blake.

The funds will all be put to resources that will give Blake his best shot at qualifying for the Olympic Games and winning a medal in Sochi! Those include:

  • Travel for Blake, his coach and his physio therapist to all four World Cup events. Without our support, he will travel alone -- in places like China and Russia -- and will not have his coach or physio therapist at any of these crucial World Cup events. Having his support structure with him at these competitions is critical to his success.
  • His physio therapist with him for the two weeks leading up to the final two World Cup events. Without our support, he has no physio therapist preparing him for the two races that specifically determine whether he qualifies for the Olympic Games.
  • Accommodations closer to the training center in the two weeks before the qualifiers and before the Olympic Games. To cut costs, Blake lives over an hour away from the training center and must take the train every day. Our support will allow him to save over two hours of travel each day before the qualifiers and the Olympic Games and let him focus exclusively on his training.

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Blake finished 16th overall in the 1000m. At the World Championships earlier this year, Blake finished in the top 32 of the 500m and 1500m races after battling injury. 

With our support, he will qualify for these Sochi Olympic Games and be a beacon of hope for LGBT people in Russia and around the world!

The Perks

By donating to Blake's fund, not only do you get to contribute to this unique openly gay Winter Olympian's chances of medaling in the Sochi Games, but you can get some GREAT perks as well. 

Even if you have just $10-$50 to spare, you will be thanked publicly by the LGBT Sports Coalition and Blake himself. Every dollar will help get Blake critical resources, and the entire movement will be thankful to you for your contribution!

One of the very special perks available is a postcard to you, handwritten and signed by Blake, and postmarked from the Olympic Village in Sochi!* Receiving the postcard from the openly gay Olympian will be an incredible memento for you from these Games. You get this priceless memento (and other perks) with a $200 donation.

If you'd like the chance to talk with Blake personally, for just $1,000 you will get several gifts from Blake -- including the above-mentioned post card -- in addition to a personal Skype video chat with the Olympian! It will be your chance to talk with Blake personally, ask him about his Olympic experiences and share your thoughts with him.

And if you're a corporation or organization that would like its logo on Blake's uniform at all four World Cups, become an official sponsor of Blake! For just $5k your company or organization can be an official part of TEAM BLAKE with a 45cm (about 17") squared logo on his World Cup uniform. For just $10k, you'll place a 250cm (about 98") squared logo on his uniform. It's an incredible opportunity to show support for LGBT athletes and people around the world!

Other Ways You Can Help

We understand that, in these hard economic times, not everyone has the resources to contribute financially to Blake's fund. You can still help! Be part of the campaign to send Blake to Sochi and compete for a medal by:

  • Spreading the world about this campaign. Email friends and share on social media like Facebook & Twitter. 
  • Using the Indiegogo share tools. They're there to help!

And that’s all there is to it.

*This perk assumes he qualifies for the Olympic Games. If he does not, the postmark will be from his home or training center.

Organizations backing this fundraising campaign include:

You Can Play project
Outsports
StandUp Foundation
It Gets Better Project
GO! Athletes
GLAAD
Athlete Ally
Federation of Gay Games
Pride House International
Here Media
NOH8 campaign

Special thanks to media who have promoted this campaign!

Huffington Post
Out magazine
Washington Blade

Find This Campaign On
$29,357USD
raised by 463 people in 2 months
196% funded
No time left
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on October 25, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25USD
    Big Thank You from Blake!

    A message of thanks from Blake on his Web site, blakeskjellerup.com. Plus, the Thank You above.

    78 claimed
  • $50USD
    Out/Advocate Subscript. & thx

    Personal message of thanks from Blake on his Twitter feed and Facebook page AND a one-year subscription to Out magazine and the Advocate, thanks to Here Media! Plus, the Thank You's above.

    58 claimed
  • $100USD
    Personal Postcard from Blake

    Personal, hand-signed postcard with note of thanks from Blake. Plus, the Thank you's and subscription above.

    62 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $200USD
    Postcard sent from Olympics

    Above personal postcard is mailed from the Olympic Village in Sochi.* Plus, the Thank you's and subscription above. *Assumes qualification for the Olympic Games. If not, then personal postcard mailed from training center in Calgary or home in New Zealand.

    22 out of 75 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $300USD
    Personal "thank you" photo

    Digital photo of Blake holding a personal message of thanks. Perfect for your Facebook cover photo! Plus, the Thank you's, subscription & Sochi post card above.

    7 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $400USD
    Thanks photo from Olympics

    Photo above taken at the Sochi Winter Olympics.* Plus, the Thank you's, subscription & Sochi post card above. *Assumes qualification for Winter Olympics. If not, then photo taken from World Cups.

    2 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $500USD
    Signed photo & StandUp mag

    Signed 8”X11” photo of Blake from Gay Times photo shoot AND a free one-year subscription to StandUp magazine! Plus, the Thank you's, subscription, Sochi post card and Sochi photo above.

    2 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $750USD
    Signed T-shirt

    A signed Olympic T-shirt from Blake. Plus, the Thank you's, subscriptions, Sochi post card, Sochi photo and signed photo above.

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Personal Skype Chat w/ Blake

    Personal one-on-one video Skype chat with Blake! He'll share Olympic stories, plus answer your questions. Plus, the Thank You's, subscriptions, Sochi post card, photos and T-shirt above.

    1 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Sponsor

    Logo of your company or organization on Blake’s racing uniform at the four World Cup events and the World Cup events next March. Plus, all of the extras listed above the "sponsor" levels.

    0 out of 4 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    Elite Sponsor

    Large logo of your company or organization on Blake's uniform at the four World Cup events and the World Cup events next March. Plus, all of the extras listed above the "sponsor" levels.

    0 out of 2 claimed
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