Olympic athletes work tirelessly for years to perfect their craft and for the opportunity to compete in an event that takes place once every four years. Often, to do so, they are required to work menial jobs to help them pay for the personal expenses they attain during the course of their training.
While some companies have stepped up to help fill the void and provide jobs that pay a living wage–most notably Home Depot–this is more of an exception than the rule.
In response, Olympic athletes are becoming more creative in their efforts to raise money. While the Olympic movement’s rules of amateurism prevent athletes from wearing clothes with sponsor’s brand mark in return for monetary support, there is nothing preventing these same athletes from placing a sponsor’s mark directly on their bodies.
Two Australian beach volleyballers, Claire Kelly and Carla Kleverlaan have petitioned companies to place advertisments on their bodies permanently, in the form of tattoos. Packages are being sold directly to sponsors, and on EBay as well, ranging from $10,000 for a small .8 inch x .8 inch tatoo on Kelly’s left arm, or a 1.9 inch 1.9 inch tattoo on her right arm or shoulder.
Initially, this money will help the two volleyball partners join the world tour which is a qualifying platform for the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
This is a bold move by Kelly and Kleverlaan to do something which is outside of the box to help their dreams come true.
As the story goes, however, you have to figure that tattoos will be the next item to be banned by the Olympic movement as a source of income through sponsorship. After all, the “amateur ideal” has to be protected in spite of how antiquated and outdated it has indeed become.