Strapped for money after Beijing Olympics, Logan Campbell opened a brothel to fund his Olympic training

What most people don’t realize about the Olympics is that it can be very expensive for the athletes involved. Especially for the athletes outside of the “glamour” sports. They don’t have the luxury of corporate sponsors with deep pockets footing the bill like athletes that compete in swimming and track and field do. So they have to find ways to fund their Olympic dreams. And that’s the predicament New Zealander Logan Campbell found himself in back in 2008.

Campbell, an Olympian in taekwondo, had just returned home from the Beijing Olympics almost $120,000 in debt and he was facing another $200,000 four years later for the London Olympics. So he did what he knew would make himself the most money. He opened a brothel.


Of course, this didn’t go over too well in New Zealand even though brothels are legal there. Things got so bad for Campbell that the New Zealand Olympic Committee sent him a letter threatening to sue if he didn’t stop talking about how he was funding his Olympics preparation with the brothel.

But things worked out in the long run as Campbell began to make money from taekwondo. Lots of it. So he sold the brothel. And now he can inform the masses that running a brothel in New Zealand is unlike prostitution everywhere else in the world.

“It’s a legal business in New Zealand,” Campbell said. “It’s completely different from other countries in the world. There was no – I don’t know – no one was forced into the industry, and they’re not doing it because they are in poverty because we have a really good welfare system.”

“It’s more of like a higher-class thing than you see around the world. I think a lot of people don’t understand that. As compared … to places like Thailand [where] I know what it’s like in the poorer countries, where people don’t have a choice to get into that sort of industry. But in New Zealand it’s completely different, so it’s fine.”

Campbell said his parents didn’t object to his running a brothel. Back in 2009, he told several New Zealand news outlets that his mother’s worries were calmed after meeting several of the women who worked for her son.

“I’ve never had anyone in New Zealand be like, ‘Why did you do that? That’s not right,’ or anything like that,” he said.

“I came home after the Olympics, and I had no job and nothing to do,” he said. “I needed to make some money if I wanted to go to the next one in London, so bam!”

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