Caught in Payment Dispute, an OIympian Takes Off His Clothes

Mexican diver Diego Balleza has started an OnlyFans to help pay for Olympic training
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 18, 2023 2:35 PM CDT
Diver Starts OnlyFans Page to Fund Olympics Training
Diver Kevin Berlin trains in Monterrey, Mexico, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Jorge Mendoza)

As a prominent 10-meter diver, Diego Balleza is used to wearing small swimsuits that show off his body. Now, desperate due to a lack of financial resources ahead of next year's Paris Olympics, the Mexican is making a leap to a different platform in which he also wears few clothes: OnlyFans. Per the AP, Balleza is one of several Mexican athletes who've been affected by a dispute between World Aquatics and Ana Guevara, the head of Mexico's national sports commission that, since January, has stopped providing monthly payments for aquatics athletes. World Aquatics suspended the president of the Mexican Swimming Federation, Kiril Todorov, and appointed a commission to take charge while new elections were held.

Todorov was suspended for the failure of the federation to comply with the governing body's good governance standards. But Guevara—a runner who won a silver medal in the 400-meter race at the 2004 Athens Olympics—refused to recognize the commission, even though the arbitration court confirmed the change, and cut the allowance to all aquatics athletes. So now, the athletes are trying to find ways to support themselves. Balleza, who was fourth in synchronized diving on the 10-meter platform at the Tokyo Olympics, chose to join OnlyFans, a site where content creators upload images and videos, some of them explicit.

"It occurred to me to open it because you are always looking for a way to make income," Balleza says. "I support my house and my mother, and I have bills to pay, and you can upload whatever you want in there; it's ... valid content. I am happy that the people who are in my page have been very good and respectful." Balleza charges a monthly fee of $15 to access his content but offers quarterly packages for $40.50. As of Monday, he'd uploaded 136 images and 26 videos and had more than 14,000 interactions with fans. With the money he gets from that site, the 28-year-old seeks to replace the little more than $1,700 that he received as a government scholarship. "The money I now receive [from OnlyFans] is very volatile, but it has served me well so far," he says.

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Balleza said that in addition to OnlyFans, the government of the state of Nuevo Leon, where he lives and trains, has supported him, and he has also received money from the private sector. Balleza isn't alone in his struggle for funds. His partner on the 10-meter platform in Tokyo, Kevin Berlin, chose another route to continue his preparations for Paris. Berlin, with help from his relatives, created a coffee brand called Olimpiada Cafe (Olympic Coffee). In addition to Balleza and Berlin, the artistic swimming team has been forced to sell swimsuits and towels on social media. The issue has even been discussed by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who said he'd try to see how to help the competitors.

(More OnlyFans stories.)

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