PHOENIX, Arizona, October 12. TWO-time U.S. Olympian Anthony Ervin knows that the life of a professional swimmer is a financial struggle. So, when he reached out to the swimming community to help him finance his World Cup circuit trip, fans answered the call. About two weeks ago, he set up a fundraiser through the website Indie Go Go, offering different types of memorabilia to fans in return for donations. He set the fundraising goal at $10,000 — the amount of travel expenses he charged to his credit card to race the full World Cup circuit. Stops include the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Ervin fans everywhere stepped up big time. In a little more than a week from the start of the campaign, Ervin reached his fundraising goal. The fundraising continues, but from now until the end of the World Cup circuit, half of all additional money raised will go to charity to help provide clean water in developing areas.
Check out the video Ervin released through Swimming World thanking his fans for their continued support:
Fans have noticed the denim jacket Ervin rocks behind the blocks and on the medal stand. In response, a running drawing was put in place, where a fan received an autographed American Apparel jacket exactly like Ervin's. Today, the winner was announced, and a new tier has been added on to Ervin's fundraiser: now, any fan can obtain an autographed flag jacket at a discounted price. American Apparel donated an additional four jackets that generally retail for $82, but are being made available for $75. As always, half the proceeds of the fundraiser go to charity.
Check out some of the pictures of Ervin wearing the jacket below:
Ervin preparing for his 50 freestyle at the first World Cup stop in Dubai
Ervin showing the back of his signature jean jacket
As an additional point of discussion, what do you think about using fundraising to help professional swimmers cover expenses? Please leave your comments below.