To Sochi! Dogecoin community funds $7,000 Olympic ‘miracle’ for Indian athletes

dogecoin india shiva keshavan 2014 winter olympics sochi

Dogecoin is sending yet another team to the moon the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

A week after raising more than $30,000 to help fund the Jamaican bobsled team’s trip to Sochi, the Dogecoin community has stepped up with nearly $7,000 in donations of the meme-themed virtual currency to help send three athletes from India to the 2014 Games.

Dogecoin’s latest charitable run picked up steam on Wednesday when a Reddit user posted a link to a Washington Post article about Shiva Keshavan, a luge athlete from India who has self-funded his athletic career through donations and sponsorships, and two Indian skiers, Himanshu Thakur and Nadeem Iqbal, who qualified for this year’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but did not have sufficient funds to pay their way. It was the final paragraphs of the article that pulled at the Dogecoin community’s heartstrings (and wallets).

From the Post:

India’s sports ministry agreed to help the athletes defray the costs of competing at Sochi. Keshavan received sufficient funds, but it has been unclear whether the other two competitors can afford to make the trip. Roshan Lal Thakur, secretary general of the Winter Games Federation of India, said he has finally received three-quarters of the$22,000 needed to send the alpine skier Himanshu Thakur and cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal and their coaches to the Games. Still, he doesn’t know where he will get the rest.

“Maybe I have to borrow from friends,” he said. “Some miracle will happen, no?”


Some miracle will happen indeed. Within hours on Wednesday, Dogecoin users had raised roughly $4,500 worth of Dogecoin. And as of this writing, the balance sits at about $6,700 – more than enough to reach the $22,000 total needed – according to Ben Doernberg, a member of the Dogecoin Foundation, which helps facilitate the Dogecoin community’s charitable efforts. Nearly 470 people have donated to the fund, with amounts ranging from as little as 2 Doge to one donation of 3,000,000 doge or about $4,700, at current exchange rates.

As chance would have it, one redditor was able to get in touch with Keshavan’s wife, Namita, who provided further details about her husband’s financial situation and that of the other Indian athletes. Namita writes:

“Shiva is sponsored by the Olympic Gold Quest, and endorses a few brands in India. He has been managing to train and compete with all the money he raises personally. In simple words, he mainly represents the country at his own expense. FYI, the total required budget for a Season is approximately INR 50 Lakhs (~80K$), which Shiva has raised personally all these years. There are no facilities or infrastructure in India, which forces him to train abroad, something like the Jamaican team. It was 2 months prior to the 2010 Olympic Games and now for the 2014 Games that the Govt. offered support, nothing in the middle. Also, please note that they were part sanctions, which means they only gave him 5-10 percent of the total amount actually required by him. I write all this for your information, so that it is clear who and why you all are supporting the Indian athletes.”

Because Keshavan has covered his expenses, it is likely that the donations will go toward funding Indian alpine skiers Thakur and Iqba. However, the Dogecoin Foundation is still working out the details of how best to send the funds to the Indian athletes in need, says Doernberg. The funds may go directly to Winter Games Federation of India’s secretary general Roshan Lal Thakur – but only if that doesn’t result in a bureaucratic mess.

“Right now, we’re waiting to talk to Shiva to make totally sure that this secretary general is the right person to send the money to, and that that’s how it will best get to the athletes,” says Doernberg. “We don’t want it going into a bureaucratic process where it takes so long that it doesn’t get to the athletes in time.”

While India’s athletes may now have enough money to make it to Sochi, their challenges are far from over. Last year, a criminal investigation into the Indian Olympic Association forced the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to suspend its charter, meaning none of the country’s three athletes will be allowed to carry the Indian flag during the Opening Ceremonies, which will take place on Friday, February 7.

In the mean time, watch a video of Keshavan’s supremely ballsy training routine below:

Emerging Tech

Elon Musk fires back at British diver who was critical of his submarine

While Elon Musk's offer of a submarine to help rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave made for interesting news and likely helped keep the emergency in the public eye, not everyone is thrilled with Musk.

These are the best video chat apps to help you stay in touch

Though still relatively new, video chat apps can help you connect with people from around the world. Here are our personal favorites to help you keep in touch regardless of smartphone OS.

Lumen measures metabolism, creates personal nutrition plan with a single breath

Lumen -- an Israel-based startup -- has launched a new device to help with weight management. By simply breathing into the device, users receive a personalized nutrition plan to help lose weight and achieve fitness goals.

Amazon Prime Day is almost here: Here are 8 tips to find the best deals

Prime Day, Amazon's annual sale, is almost here. Prime members will have a limited time to score some exclusive deals and huge discounts, but you've got to be ready, and we can help. Here are 8 tips to help you find the best Prime Day deals…
Emerging Tech

NASA wants help coming up with ways to get rid of astronauts’ space trash

NASA is looking for outside organizations to help it come up withnew ways to dispose of astronauts' garbage for space missions. It's space exploration for the crowdsourcing generation!
Home Theater

The 7 best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.

Split your Uber charges with friends more easily than ever with Venmo

After noting that more than six million Venmo transaction descriptions included the word "Uber," the PayPal-owned app, Venmo, decided to help users cut down on the number of steps needed to repay friends. 

Sprint revamps its data plans, adds Unlimited Basic and Unlimited Plus

Sprint recently introduced two new data plans to its roster -- Unlimited Basic and Unlimited Plus. Here, we break down your options to help you decide which one is best for you and your family.

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.

Microsoft’s pressure-sensitive software keyboard is ripe for dual-screen laptops

Microsoft is working on a new keyboard that will make it easier to type on glass. The software keyboard will be able to recognize pressure and gestures to help speed up your typing, especially when you're entering symbols.

Microsoft calls for Congress to regulate use of facial-recognition tech

Although highly beneficial, facial-recognition technology could also be exploited for use in malicious ways. Now, Microsoft wants Congress to intervene to create laws to help govern the use of the technology in society.
Emerging Tech

Solar-powered nanoscale coating could defrost frozen car windows

Hate defrosting your frozen windshield in the winter? Of course you do. Fortunately, so do researchers at ETH in Switzerland -- and they've invented a special nanoscale glass coating to help.
Emerging Tech

Moving around in zero gravity is hard. MIT’s solution? Spider-Man’s web shooter

Researchers from MIT have been researching ways for astronauts to easily move around in microgravity. One solution is that they can use Spider-Man-style web shooters to pull themselves around.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu and Hulu with Live TV? We've got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.
Home Theater

Banish the bunny ears (and monthly bills) with these excellent indoor antennas

When transitioning away from cable and satellite, finding the best HDTV antenna for your area can be touch. To help, we've compiled our picks of the best indoor HDTV antennas you can buy.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Emerging Tech

World’s first VR-augmented waterslide is totally unnecessary, but also amazing

An amusement park in Germany unveiled the world's first waterslide that requires riders to wear a virtual reality headset. Here's what went into making this waterlogged VR dream a reality.
Emerging Tech

Rolls-Royce is creating a fleet of robotic snakes and beetles to repair planes

Researchers from Rolls-Royce are creating snake and insect-swarm-inspired robots that are designed to crawl inside airplane engines to carry out inspections and perform maintenance.
Emerging Tech

12 new moons were discovered orbiting Jupiter, and one’s an ‘oddball’

Jupiter's got 12 new moons. Well, not exactly. Those dozen moons have, of course, always been in Jupiter's orbit, but it was only this week that researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science announced their discovery.

From picking to pollinating, agribots are pushing farming into the future

Farming is becoming increasingly challenging. To deal with environmental pollution, labor shortage, and other major issues, agricultural scientists are turning to robots and AI.
Emerging Tech

New VR horror game gets scarier if your heart rate isn’t fast enough

In new VR game Bring to Light, players can strap on a heart rate monitor to personalize the fear factor. Get too comfortable, and the game’s A.I. will know to ramp up the terror.
Emerging Tech

The UN and Yale unite to build a ‘smart’ tiny house for the future

In an effort to create more sustainable and affordable housing for future populations, the United Nations and Yale University recently teamed together and created an environmentally minded tiny house.
Emerging Tech

Man vs. machine: An A.I. algorithm attempts to break a world speed record

A new machine learning algorithm created at Switzerland’s EPFL is being used to design what its creators hope is the world's fastest bicycle. It will attempt a world record later this year.