Three Hoosier swimmers are using crowdsourcing to raise money for their Olympic dreams. The online platform Dreamfuel is a website specifically dedicated to competitive athletes. Because of their accomplishments, three former IU swimmers have been picked to be profiled and supported on the Dreamfuel platform. They are Margaux Farrell, Lindsay Vrooman and Cody Miller. Vrooman and Miller are are part of the 37-person roster that will represent the United States in the short course World Championships in Qatar in December. Vrooman graduated from Indiana University last year and still lives and trains in Bloomington. The suits that Vrooman wears during competitions can cost four hundred dollars, and its not easy to balance out an income with Olympic training.
Vrooman is aiming to participate in the 2016 Olympic games in Brazil, competing in the 400 and 800 freestyle and the open water 10K race. While she calls herself a bit of a long shot, her career as a Hoosier is full of accomplishments.
Dreamfuel Co-Founder Emily White’s Grandfather, Bob White Sr. swam for IU in the 1940’s and also competed at the Olympic Trials. White says the crowdsourcing site goes beyond fundraising and also teaches athletes how to build and nurture their support networks and engage their fans. Vrooman’s personal networks, family, and high school teachers have all chipped in to get her about half way to her fund raising goal with one week left in the campaign. She says fund raising is especially hard for solo athletes.
According to an article in the magazine Fast Company, 85 percent of Olympic hopefuls earn less than fifteen thousand dollars per year and many do not have corporate sponsorships.