Team USA's Men's Bobsled Team Helped Finance Their Olympic Journey with a Nearly-Nude Calendar

“We’re a very close team. Shooting the calendar was a fun experience. It wasn’t awkward; it wasn’t anything that was a burden,” said Team USA's men's bobsled team member Jimmy Reed

The Bob-Spread
Photo: James K. Reed

Thirteen members of the U.S. Men's bobsled team stripped down and posed nearly naked for a calendar to raise funds for their journey to the Beijing Winter Olympics.

In order to help with equipment and training costs, team member Jimmy Reed proposed the team create a calendar, called "The Bob-Spread," and shot the photos himself at the Olympic Training Center and in Lake Placid, New York, last year.

"The original idea was to help with the funding," athlete Carlos Valdes explained to The Washington Post. "Federations can't take care of everything. We still gotta pay out of pocket for some things. We need help with that, and luckily, the calendar has provided a small buffer outside of what people have donated."

The calendar features Valdes taking inspiration from the late Burt Reynolds with a lounging pose as he sports a handlebar mustache and American flag boxer briefs. Teammate Blaine McConnell shows off his physique in bikini briefs and Manteo Mitchell, a former Olympic sprinter, poses naked in the track starting position.

"We're a very close team," Reed told The Washington Post. "Shooting the calendar was a fun experience. It wasn't awkward; it wasn't anything that was a burden. We just came up with the idea for the person who we wanted to shoot and then took a couple photos."

The team initially created a GoFundMe to cover the costs of a second sled, Reed told PEOPLE, and planned to utilize the calendar to get the attention of donors. Instead, they unexpectedly raised $90,000 in a single week before it was even included as a bonus for donating. That money, Reed explained, went toward flights, hotels, and sled shipping, among other necessities.

"The Bob-Spread" separately went on to sell around 400 copies for $4,700 in additional funds, according to The Washington Post. "We still thought 'The Bob-Spread' was a great product and since we're self-funded as athletes anyway any sales will just go towards the athletes that were in the calendar," Reed further explained to PEOPLE.

Reed added to PEOPLE, "Team USA athletes aren't government-funded and USA Bobsled and Skeleton is a smaller national governing body so funds are always tight. COVID didn't help with that so we have less money than normal."

The Bob-Spread
James K. Reed

"Bobsled is an expensive sport," USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Aron McGuire echoed to NBC Sports. "As one of the only countries that doesn't receive government funding, our sponsors and donors are critically important to us to provide support to USA athletes. While our goal is to fully fund the national team, we recognize that we aren't there yet."

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The Bob-Spread
James K. Reed

Two four-man bobsled teams will compete for the U.S. in Beijing on Friday. Josh Williamson, Kris Horn, and Charlie Volker will push for Hunter Church's sled. Valdes, Reed, and Abdul-Saboor will push for Frank Del Duca.

Volker told The Washington Post that "The Bob-Spread" will not be an annual release, although the team would consider another calendar ahead of the 2026 Olympics.

To learn more about Team USA, visit Watch the Winter Olympics, now, and the Paralympics, beginning March 4, on NBC.

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