07/24/09 — Opinion -- Strange ideas draw attention

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Opinion -- Strange ideas draw attention

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on July 24, 2009 1:46 PM

A brothel to finance an Olympian and a golf course stretching nearly 900 miles ... well ... 848 to be exact.

Welcome to "Ripley's Believe It Or Not: Sports Edition."

Logan Campbell, who hails from New Zealand, doesn't want his parents to foot the bill for the 2012 London Games. The taekwondo athlete has opened a brothel -- yes, a brothel -- to finance his ambition.

And it's not illegal in New Zealand.

The country decriminalized prostitution six years ago. The parliamentary vote -- 60-59, with one lawmaker abstaining -- proved the sensitivity of the issue. After reviewing the Prostitution Reform Act, officials learned it has not led to a surge in prostitution.

Viewing himself as nothing more than a businessman, Campbell shows not an ounce of shame when discussing his venture. Clients are charged $325 for two hours of sex. A modest $2,000 fee assures one of dinner, dancing and a night with one of Campbell's ladies back at the hotel.

While the Olympic Committee understands that Campbell is doing nothing wrong and recognizes the plight New Zealand's athletes face. They encounter extra costs and hassle if they want to train overseas.

But New Zealand Olympic officials and the International Olympic Committee have made one thing clear: Campbell will unlikely be selected for London if he stays in his current line of work. The IOC expects athletes to be strong role models for the rest of society and for youth in particular.

The message is clear -- be either an Olympian or a pimp, but not both.

Bob Bongiorno isn't a fan of spiders.

When the Australian began hitting a few golf balls in the Outback, he got sick of encountering the buggers when retrieving the balls. So while having a couple of beers with a mate, Bongiorno -- a roadhouse manager -- envisioned the Nullarbor Links.

His dream will soon become reality.

Spanning two time zones and measuring more than the entire length of Britain, the Links will be completed some time in August. The 848-mile course of desert highway allows golfers to travel the desolate Nullarbor Plain and part of Australia's southern coastline.

Each hole will showcase a local attraction and there are no hazards on the synthetic greens of the Links. But hit a stray shot into the desert and you'll face one heckuva monster sand trap.

The par-71 course will take three or four days to complete with each player awarded a certificate.

Mulligan, anyone?