First Crowdfunded Medalist at China's National Games

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A triumphant breakthrough as crowdfunding makes history. For the first time, Fringebacker-funded international athlete stood on the medal stand at China's 12th National Games.

Crowdfunding has now become a very important part of many international athletes' funding strategy, as well as starting to gain traction among many talented people in China.

FringeBacker, the world's only fully bilingual (English-Chinese) crowdfunding platform, announced that, for the first time, a crowdfunded international athlete stood on the medal stand at China's 12th National Games. In a watershed event for the international future of crowdfunding, Hong Kong's Jacqueline Lai took home the Silver Medal in the individual Equestrian Showjumping competition, after winning over the public with her US$63,000 funding campaign success on FringeBacker earlier this year, surpassing her goal by 160%.

Traditionally associated with independent creators, the emergence of crowdfunding in international sports points to its power as a new and significant source of funding. It enables athletes to raise funds from the public in lieu of or in parallel with funding that they may get from the government or from corporate sponsors.

"Crowdfunding has now become a very important part of many international athletes' funding strategy, as well as starting to gain traction among many talented people in China," said FringeBacker Executive Director Maryann Hwee, noting that Lai's achievement yesterday was likely to be seen as a turning point for the use of crowdfunding to promote and nurture sports development.    

"FringeBacker is proud to have helped really galvanise the community to support Lai, and to make crowdfunding a visible method of public participation in international sports at the highest levels," said Hwee. "Ultimately, crowdfunding is becoming more and more of a force in international sports, and is not only for creative projects, as athletes now do not need to rely exclusively on government or corporate funding. You interact directly with the public, and go straight to amass the support you need from your community. Crowdfunding adds to athletes' motivation because they have to convince their public backers that their competitive goals are worthy of support."

Through a combination of toil, grit, tears, Jacqueline Lai, known as the "Iron Princess" of Equestrianship, bounced back from a devastating injury in 2011 which deprived her of competing in the London Olympics, and has now left her with 13 screws holding up her pelvis.

FringeBacker is Hong Kong's crowdfunding platform, and one of the largest in China. Lai's FringeBacker campaign remains the record-breaker for crowdfunding in Hong Kong, and is one of the largest both in China as well as among athletes in Asia. FringeBacker is a Network Partner of the United Nations' UNESCO RLCCE Observatory.

About FringeBacker

FringeBacker is the world's first multimedia showcase to facilitate artists, athletes, designers, filmmakers, food creators, games developers, inventors, musicians, performers, publishers, IT developers, sports persons, and other talented people to reach out to financial backers, fully bilingually in both English and Chinese. Since its launch in September 2012, FringeBacker's interactive online platform has disruptively transformed how any creative or innovative industry interacts with its financial backers, while everyone can intimately and interactively engage in the entire process of bringing creativity to life at an innovative and convenient hub. FringeBacker is China's crowdfunding platform, and is headquartered in Hong Kong.

FringeBacker is a Network Partner of the United Nations' UNESCO Arts in Education Observatory RLCCE.

For more information and images, please visit http://www.fringebacker.com/en/projects/Equestrian_Showjumping/, http://www.facebook.com/FringeBacker.

About Jacqueline Lai

Trained at stables in Denmark, 22-year-old Jacqueline Lai, China's 2009 National Equestrian Championship Gold-Medalist, has come a long way since her devastating accident in 2011 when her horse fell and crushed her pelvis. Labelled the “Iron Princess” of Equestrianship, thanks to the 13 screws that hold up her pelvis, the experience had made her a stronger person. Lai she never gave up after her accident, but rather, she chose to capitalise on her moments. Lai decided to engage more people to join her in participating in equestrian sports, gathering crowdfunding support from Chinese and international communities through FringeBacker. FringeBacker and Lai are the Hong Kong record holders for crowdfunding, having successfully completed recently one of China's largest crowdfunding campaigns to date. This overwhelming public support for her on FringeBacker resulted in one of the world's largest crowdfunding successes by an international athlete.

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Vivien Chan
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