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Taekwondo athlete starts brothel to fund Olympics bid, and it works

Mar 14, 2012, 10:39 AM EDT

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New Zealand Olympic Taekwondo Squad Announcement Getty Images

Call New Zealand the land of opportunity. Logan Campbell (right in photo) was a taekwondo specialist with Olympic aspirations, but he didn’t have the cash to fund full-time training and international competition. So he did the logical thing in a nation where prostitution is legal: he started an escort agency. The “high-class” escort service he began in 2009 helped him raise about $250,000, and now he’s won a place on New Zealand’s 2012 Olympic team.

Taekwondo New Zealand and the national Olympic committee were not amused.

Campbell said when he initially opened the escort agency he received a letter from the New Zealand Olympic Committee saying they did not believe it was an appropriate business to be connected with Taekwondo or the Olympic movement.

He said he was warned that his selection chances could be reduced if he continued to operate the business and he sold the agency in 2010.

“I think what happened was when they first found out about it, I think one person in the Olympic Committee got upset,” he said. “I don’t think it was the whole feelings of the Olympic committee.”

Campbell said that when he started the escort agency, New Zealand offered no funding for taekwondo. But then the media got involved in the story, and now that’s changing.

Sponsors “started funding taekwondo and I didn’t need the escort agency anymore,” he said.

Campbell will compete in the under-60 kilogram class in London as one of three New Zealand taekwondo athletes. He finished in the top 16 in the under-58kg class at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

More fun facts: Campbell told The Telegraph that he took up the sport after watching The Karate Kid as a child, which is truly awesome. Also, he says he wasn’t a pimp.

“When people think of a pimp they think of a guy standing around on a street corner with gold chains. Pimps are more tough-type guys,” he said. “I’m an owner of an escort agency.”

Taekwondo athlete succeeds in Olympic bid [NBCSports]