Martial artist sells skin for Olympics training

It's a shame really.

It’s a shame really.

After pimps worldwide have spent so much time and effort persuading the public to see their industry as being about the sex, bling and exploitation of women, some damn Olympian has to come along and make it seem like it’s all about the money.

New Zealander Logan Campbell is hoping to compete at the 2012 London Olympics in taekwondo, but first he has to raise some funds. Like most of us in need of money, his first thought was the sex industry.

To help settle his financial woes, the 23-year-old has opened a brothel—formally (and ironically) called a “gentleman’s club”—in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland.

“When people think of a pimp they think of a guy standing around on a street corner with gold chains,” said Campbell, who denies being a pimp, just the “owner of an escort agency” in an interview with the New York Times.

“Pimps are more tough-type guys,” added the, um, black belt.

Campbell finished in the top 16 in the featherweight division at the Summer Olympic Games last summer in Beijing, China.

To get to the games he said he spent about $90,000 competing in international competitions, most of which was provided by his non-streetwalking parents.

For 2012 he is hoping to raise $200,000—never before has helping Olympians reach their goals been so, let’s say, satisfying.

Although at first skeptical, his parents are now behind is entrepreneural endeavour.

“Mum was hesitant, but she met the girls, a couple came over to her house,” said Campbell.

“She realized they were just normal people supporting their kids and stuff.”

Then again, he did use tons of their cash and didn’t even come home from China with a medal—they’d probably be fine with him selling tainted meat to schoolchildren.

My first reaction to this was: I thought all the criminals were sent to Australia? But actually, licensed prostitution is legal in New Zealand (return flights from Vancouver to Auckland starting at $1,642).

But that isn’t good enough for some (probably married) officials.

“Selection takes into accountt not just performance, but also the athlete’s ability to serve as an example to the youth of the country,” said John Scholfield, funding manager of Taekwondo New Zealand.

“It may be unlikely that he will be selected because of his involvement,” said Matt Ransom, Taekwondo New Zealand’s secretary general, in an interview with CNN.

I’m not condoning the sex trade, but the thing is, if he’s not breaking the law his employment should have no influence on New Zealand’s Olympic committee’s decision to whether or not have him on the team. The committee might as well pass over an athlete because he sells cigarettes in a convenience store.

Considering New Zealand’s Nicole Tasker competed in the 2000 Sydney Games after raising money by performing lap dances at an Auckland stripclub, Campbell should be solely judged on his Taekwondo skill.

If there’s one thing we can agree on, not all martial artists can be goody two-shoes like UFC champion Brock Lesnar. In a post-match interview after last weekend’s UFC 100, Lesnar slagged the event’s main sponsor and then said he intends to “get on top” of his wife in celebration of his win.

A class act indeed.

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