Escort agency funded taekwondo athlete wins London 2012 place
Thursday, 15 March 2012
March 17 - An athlete who set up an escort agency has won a place on New Zealand's taekwondo team for London 2012.
Logan Campbell (pictured above) opened the escort agency, which is not illegal in New Zealand, with a business partner in Auckland three years ago to raise the money needed to compete to qualify for London.
Campbell, who has now won a place as one of three athletes to compete for New Zealand at the Games in the under 60kg class, was also at Beijing 2008, when he came in the top 16 in the featherweight class.
He did though sell the agency in 2010 after being criticised by the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Taekwondo New Zealand.
"At the time taekwondo wasn't getting any funding at all," Campbell explained.
"So it was pretty much to get good at the sport you had to get international competition and there wasn't any funding for us.
"I think what happened was when they [the New Zealand Olympic Committee] first found out about it, I think one person got upset.
"I don't think it was the whole feelings of the Olympic committee.
"After I qualified there was no like, 'Oh we're not going to send you because you had an escort agency.'
"We sent our applications in, they approved us all and then they just called me up and said, 'Congratulations, you're going to the Olympics.'"
Campbell follows in the path of compatriots Toni Jeffs, a swimmer who was sponsored by a strip club at the Barcelona Games in 1992, and cyclist Nicole Tasker, who was a lap dancer in Auckland to help raise money for her Sydney 2000 bid.
Campbell will join Vaughan Scott in the -80kg division and Robin Cheong (-57kg) in London this summer as part of New Zealand's taekwondo delegation.
July 2009: New Zealander funds London Olympic dream by running brothel