Story highlightsBloemen to be paid in virtual moneyDutch-born Canadian speedskater endorsed by CEEK VR and ONG SocialDeal could be “new frontier” for sports sponsorships

(CNN)There are almost 3,000 athletes competing at the Peyongchang Olympics, but there is only one who is paid in cryptocurrency.

Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen recently became the first athlete to be paid in virtual money when he struck a one-year sponsorship deal with ONG Social, a social network and crypto community, and CEEK VR, a developer of virtual reality experiences.It’s often not easy being a Winter Olympian, particularly in securing financial support to fund the pursuit of sport success, with Bloemen is exploring a “whole new frontier,” according to his agent. The double world record-holder plans to share his Olympic journey on the ONG Social network and star in a 360° virtual reality experience on CEEK VR. In return, he will earn cryptocurrency rewards. “Speed skating success is all about progression — building and building to peak at the right time,” said Bloemen in a joint statement with CEEK VR and ONG Social last month to announce the deal.Bloemen moved to Calgary in 2014 to compete for Canada.Bloemen moved to Calgary in 2014 to compete for Canada.Bloemen moved to Calgary in 2014 to compete for Canada.Read MoreIf it’s a deal that provides exposure for ONG and CEEK VR, it could also be a smart move with Mary Spio, who is the CEO and founder of the virtual reality company, pointing out that athletes would increasingly use VR to improve their performance.”Bloemen’s support for cutting-edge technologies is reflective of his proclivity for pushing the boundaries,” said Spio in a statement.”We believe Virtual Reality isn’t just great for our audience (Ceekers) but will ultimately be used for training and maximizing player performance and potential.”

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I’m very excited to be the first ever #Crypto Sponsored Athlete. Thanks @CEEK #VirtualReality and @Ong_Social for being at the forefront of technology and this great achievement. Looking forward to a great relationship and the exciting times ahead. pic.twitter.com/mCHbNzkKW8

— Ted-Jan Bloemen (@TedJan) January 31, 2018 Wild fluctuationsAlthough virtual currencies can fluctuate wildly, Bloemen said he was “excited” about his new endorsement, adding he felt like he had got “two new teammates to help put me over the top, at the most important point in the season.”Bitcoin, the best known cryptocurrency, soared to close to $20,000 last year, before collapsing in December. It was trading at just over $8,573 at the end of the week.The CNN ENG-KOR PyeongChang 2018 dictionaryThe CNN ENG-KOR PyeongChang 2018 dictionaryThe CNN ENG-KOR PyeongChang 2018 dictionaryJUST WATCHEDThe CNN ENG-KOR PyeongChang 2018 dictionaryReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH

The CNN ENG-KOR PyeongChang 2018 dictionary 02:19According to Kgazette.com, ONG Social has mined 300 million coins, worth a total of $138.69 million. The cryptocurrency was founded in June. Although it’s not known how many coins Bloemen stands to receive, he told Canada’s National Post that the deal was “a minimum amount in cash, but most in cryptocurrencies.”He added: “For me, the real risk of not getting anything is not there, because I got a little (cash) out of it already.”And that combination makes this sponsorship really fun, right. Because we’re going to help each other. I’m trying to get them a little more exposure to make them succeed, and that would help all of us, right.”Sweden's Charlotte Kalla, center, celebrates after winning the first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics. She finished first in the 15-kilometer skiathlon. Norway's Marit Bjørgen, left, won the silver to become the most decorated woman in the history of the Winter Games. Finland's Krista Parmakoski took the bronze. Sweden's Charlotte Kalla, center, celebrates after winning the first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics. She finished first in the 15-kilometer skiathlon. Norway's Marit Bjørgen, left, won the silver to become the most decorated woman in the history of the Winter Games. Finland's Krista Parmakoski took the bronze. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla, center, celebrates after winning the first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics. She finished first in the 15-kilometer skiathlon. Norway’s Marit Bjørgen, left, won the silver to become the most decorated woman in the history of the Winter Games. Finland’s Krista Parmakoski took the bronze. Hide Caption 1 of 15Germany's Laura Dahlmeier prepares for competition in the women's biathlon 7.5-kilometer sprint.Germany's Laura Dahlmeier prepares for competition in the women's biathlon 7.5-kilometer sprint. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier prepares for competition in the women’s biathlon 7.5-kilometer sprint.Hide Caption 2 of 15Competitors start the cross-country women's skiathlon at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre.Competitors start the cross-country women's skiathlon at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Competitors start the cross-country women’s skiathlon at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre.Hide Caption 3 of 15Danielle Scott of Australia practices during freestyle skiing aerials.Danielle Scott of Australia practices during freestyle skiing aerials. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Danielle Scott of Australia practices during freestyle skiing aerials.Hide Caption 4 of 15North Korean fans cheer as they watch a short-track speedskating race. Choe Un-song was competing in the 1,500 meters. He is one of 22 North Koreans who will be taking part in the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.North Korean fans cheer as they watch a short-track speedskating race. Choe Un-song was competing in the 1,500 meters. He is one of 22 North Koreans who will be taking part in the Winter Games in Pyeongchang. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10North Korean fans cheer as they watch a short-track speedskating race. Choe Un-song was competing in the 1,500 meters. He is one of 22 North Koreans who will be taking part in the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.Hide Caption 5 of 15Dominik Fischnaller of Italy slides during the men's singles luge.Dominik Fischnaller of Italy slides during the men's singles luge. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Dominik Fischnaller of Italy slides during the men’s singles luge.Hide Caption 6 of 15Sweden's Charlotte Kalla celebrates after winning the first gold medal of the Games.Sweden's Charlotte Kalla celebrates after winning the first gold medal of the Games. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla celebrates after winning the first gold medal of the Games.Hide Caption 7 of 15South Korean President Moon Jae-in greets Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a historic meeting between North and South Korean officials at the presidential palace in Seoul. The South Korean leader received an invitation from Kim's sister to travel to North Korea.South Korean President Moon Jae-in greets Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a historic meeting between North and South Korean officials at the presidential palace in Seoul. The South Korean leader received an invitation from Kim's sister to travel to North Korea. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10South Korean President Moon Jae-in greets Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a historic meeting between North and South Korean officials at the presidential palace in Seoul. The South Korean leader received an invitation from Kim’s sister to travel to North Korea.Hide Caption 8 of 15Mons Roisland of Norway competes in the slopestyle qualification.Mons Roisland of Norway competes in the slopestyle qualification. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Mons Roisland of Norway competes in the slopestyle qualification.Hide Caption 9 of 15Canada's John Morris competes in the mixed curling round robin against Switzerland.Canada's John Morris competes in the mixed curling round robin against Switzerland. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Canada’s John Morris competes in the mixed curling round robin against Switzerland.Hide Caption 10 of 15A fan keeps warm during a weather delay prior to the men's slopestyle qualification.A fan keeps warm during a weather delay prior to the men's slopestyle qualification. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10A fan keeps warm during a weather delay prior to the men’s slopestyle qualification.Hide Caption 11 of 15Niklas Mattsson of Sweden crashes during the slopestyle qualification.Niklas Mattsson of Sweden crashes during the slopestyle qualification. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Niklas Mattsson of Sweden crashes during the slopestyle qualification.Hide Caption 12 of 15Norway's Magnus Nedregotten slides the stone during the mixed curling round robin.Norway's Magnus Nedregotten slides the stone during the mixed curling round robin. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Norway’s Magnus Nedregotten slides the stone during the mixed curling round robin.Hide Caption 13 of 15South Korean fans cheer their team during a mixed curling match against Olympic Athletes from Russia.South Korean fans cheer their team during a mixed curling match against Olympic Athletes from Russia. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10South Korean fans cheer their team during a mixed curling match against Olympic Athletes from Russia.Hide Caption 14 of 15Olympic Athlete from Russia Anastasia Bryzgalova makes a call to her teammate Aleksandr Krushelnitckii during a mixed curling match against South Korea's Jang Hyeji and Lee Kijeong.Olympic Athlete from Russia Anastasia Bryzgalova makes a call to her teammate Aleksandr Krushelnitckii during a mixed curling match against South Korea's Jang Hyeji and Lee Kijeong. Photos: Winter Olympics: Saturday, February 10Olympic Athlete from Russia Anastasia Bryzgalova makes a call to her teammate Aleksandr Krushelnitckii during a mixed curling match against South Korea’s Jang Hyeji and Lee Kijeong.Hide Caption 15 of 1518 winter olympics 0210 women cross country17 winter olympics 0210 women biathlon16 winter olympics 0210 womens skiathlon15 winter olympics 0210 freestyle skiing21 winter olympics 0210 north korean fans14 winter olympics 0210 singles lugewinter olympics 0210 ladies cross country RESTRICTEDMoon Jae-in Kim Yo Jong 13 winter olympics 0210 slopestyle03 winter olympics 0210 curling John Morris01 winter olympics 0210 slopestyle fan10 winter olympics 0210 slopestyle06 winter olympics 0210 curling Magnus Nedregotten12 winter olympics 0210 curling fans11 winter olympics 0210 curlingREAD: Winter Olympics sport-by-sport guideREAD: Tonga’s famous flag bearer achieves ‘impossible dream’ ‘New frontier’Lawrence Baslaw, Bloemen’s agent and president of Baslaw +Associates Inc., called the endorsement “a first for any athlete.”He added: “This is really a whole new frontier. It will be exciting to see how cryptocurrency can work for Ted-Jan, in particular, but also the impact it will have on the sport marketing industry as a whole.”Although Bloemen was born and raised in the Netherlands, he changed nationality during the 2014-15 season after he failed to make the Dutch speed skating team for the Sochi Olympics. This is the back of the gold medal that will be awarded at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.This is the back of the gold medal that will be awarded at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Photos: The gold medals from each Winter OlympicsThis is the back of the gold medal that will be awarded at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.Hide Caption 1 of 232014: Sochi2014: Sochi Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics2014: SochiHide Caption 2 of 232010: Vancouver2010: Vancouver Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics2010: VancouverHide Caption 3 of 232006: Turin2006: Turin Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics2006: TurinHide Caption 4 of 232002: Salt Lake City2002: Salt Lake City Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics2002: Salt Lake CityHide Caption 5 of 231998: Nagano1998: Nagano Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1998: NaganoHide Caption 6 of 231994: Lillehammer1994: Lillehammer Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1994: LillehammerHide Caption 7 of 231992: Albertville1992: Albertville Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1992: AlbertvilleHide Caption 8 of 231988: Calgary1988: Calgary Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1988: CalgaryHide Caption 9 of 231984: Sarajevo1984: Sarajevo Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1984: SarajevoHide Caption 10 of 231980: Lake Placid1980: Lake Placid Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1980: Lake PlacidHide Caption 11 of 231976: Innsbruck1976: Innsbruck Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1976: InnsbruckHide Caption 12 of 231972: Sapporo1972: Sapporo Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1972: SapporoHide Caption 13 of 231968: Grenoble1968: Grenoble Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1968: GrenobleHide Caption 14 of 231964: Innsbruck1964: Innsbruck Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1964: InnsbruckHide Caption 15 of 231960: Squaw Valley1960: Squaw Valley Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1960: Squaw ValleyHide Caption 16 of 231956: Cortina1956: Cortina Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1956: CortinaHide Caption 17 of 231952: Oslo1952: Oslo Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1952: OsloHide Caption 18 of 231948: St. Moritz1948: St. Moritz Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1948: St. MoritzHide Caption 19 of 231936: Garmisch-Partenkirchen1936: Garmisch-Partenkirchen Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1936: Garmisch-PartenkirchenHide Caption 20 of 231932: Lake Placid1932: Lake Placid Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1932: Lake PlacidHide Caption 21 of 231928: St. Moritz1928: St. Moritz Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1928: St. MoritzHide Caption 22 of 231924: Chamonix1924: Chamonix Photos: The gold medals from each Winter Olympics1924: ChamonixHide Caption 23 of 2301 winter olympics gold medals02 winter olympics gold medals03 winter olympics gold medals04 winter olympics gold medals05 winter olympics gold medals06 winter olympics gold medals07 winter olympics gold medals08 winter olympics gold medals09 winter olympics gold medals10 winter olympics gold medals11 winter olympics gold medals12 winter olympics gold medals13 winter olympics gold medals14 winter olympics gold medals15 winter olympics gold medals16 winter olympics gold medals17 winter olympics gold medals18 winter olympics gold medals19 winter olympics gold medals20 winter olympics gold medals21 winter olympics gold medals22 winter olympics gold medals23 winter olympics gold medalsREAD: Olympic Games preach a ‘Games of peace’READ: From one-room home in Ghana to Winter OlympicsControversyBloemen, whose father was born in New Brunswick, Canada, has blossomed while competing under the Canadian flag.In November 2015, Bloemen set a new world record in the 10,000 meters, smashing the old record held by his former teammate from the Netherlands, Sven Kramer, by more than five seconds in Salt Lake City. In December, he broke Kramer’s 10-year-old 5,000m world record by 1.5 seconds, once again in Salt Lake City. After that race, he controversially took the label bearing Kramer’s name and world record-mark off the wall of the arena and broke it into pieces. In Pyeongchang, Bloemen will be up against triple Olympic champion Kramer, Holland’s biggest speedskating star, in the 5,000m, 10,000m and the team pursuit.

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