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A fencing Olympian revealed she raised $28,000 via GoFundMe so she can afford to go to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

A fencing Olympian revealed she raised $28,000 via GoFundMe so she can afford to go to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Olympic bronze medalist Monica Aksamit crowdfunded more than $28,000 on GoFundMe to help her pursue her dream of returning to the Olympics in 2020. Aksamit also crowdfunded her way to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after racking up credit card debt paying for her journey on her own. Now she wants to head to Tokyo to win another medal.Aksamit that the cost of training and traveling to competitions is overwhelming, especially in a niche sport like fencing.She told Insider that she’s been living at home and due to her competitive training schedule, it’s been impossible to hold a steady job.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.An Olympic medal-winning fencer started a GoFundMe to raise money to pursue her dream of going to the 2020 games in Tokyo, and she’s already raised more than $28,000.Monica Aksamit, 29, of Morganville, New Jersey, told Insider, that the cost of training and traveling to competitions is overwhelming, especially in a niche sport like fencing.She told Insider that she’s been living at home and due to her competitive training schedule, it’s been impossible to hold a steady job.”Unfortunately, with fencing being such a niche sport, even a Olympic bronze medal doesn’t guarantee you a sponsor. The money that I have earned through small social media campaigns has been going to the debt that I have from trying to qualify for the 2016 Olympics,” she wrote on her GoFundMe page.Aksamit, who started fencing when she was 9 years old, said she spent $12,000 traveling for last year’s World Cup and $2,500 on national tournaments.She commutes four to five times a week from New Jersey to Manhattan for training, has to pay for travel, hotels, and visas during tournaments, and has to pay for competitions.Aksamit says athletes in lots of niche sports struggle to pay their own way
“I’m definitely not the only one,” she told Insider, adding that athletes in sports like judo and taekwondo are likely also struggling with finances.Inc. Magazine reported in 2016 that more than 100 Olympic hopefuls were crowdfunding on GoFundMe ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.Aksamit also crowdfunded her way to Rio de Janeiro after racking up credit card debt paying for her journey on her own.”There were so many moments were I almost quit,” she said of the intense financial pressure she was under. “The year before Rio I was coaching, refereeing, and training myself so I was in a fencing gym almost every day of the week… I ended up having mild de
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