HE has appeared on websites around the world as the first-ever openly-gay bobsleigh athlete, and now Simon Dunn needs your help to ensure his Winter Olympic dream comes true.
The Australian athlete, who is based in Calgary, Canada, launched a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe five days ago — and at the time of print he had so far raised $1300 of his $10,000 total.
The money raised from his campaign would help cover future travel costs, equipment and coaching in preparation for the 2015/16 bobsleigh season, and set himself up for a spot in the Australian squad for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
“The ultimate goal is to continue to improve and represent Australia at the next Winter Olympics in Korea,” Dunn told the Star Observer.
On his crowdfunding page, Dunn explains that his success could also help combat the stereotypes that exist in bobsleigh.
“As an Australian bobsledder, I am competing in an under-recognised, and hyper-masculine sport,” he states.
“As an openly-gay athlete, I feel passionate about representing my country, and redefining the identity of the sport, one unmarred by sexual orientation.”
Dunn told the Star Observer that he made the switch from rugby to bobsleigh when, after relocating to Calgary in late 2013, he was asked to try out for the Australian team through his local rugby club. He succeeded, and is now the brakeman for Lucas Mata, who competed in Sochi.
“It’s completely different to rugby,” he said.
“But the skills, power and speed are the same. Therefore it’s an easy crossover sport.”
When the Star Observer asked about the recent attention he has been receiving from media outlets in Australia and around the world, in addition to his 17,000 Instagram followers, Dunn brushed it off.
“Right now I’m focused on training and competing, so its an afterthought,” he said.
“I just hope it brings me to the attention of a potential sponsor. A major part for me also is that it breaks down stereotypes.
“If one kid growing up realises their sexuality isn’t an issue in the sporting environment, then that’s a win in itself.”
Yet to win a race but undoubtably winning at life! Ein von Simon Hargrave (Dunn) (@bobsleighsimon) gepostetes Foto am
#tbt Bingham Cup 2014. Added to the list of amazing things to come out this year! A photo posted by Simon Hargrave (Dunn) (@bobsleighsimon) on