The Enhanced Games, backed by a coterie of Silicon Valley VIPs, bills itself as the “Olympics of the future”
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is among a handful of tech billionaires bankrolling the Enhanced Games, a privately-funded sporting contest that encourages doping and transhumanist-inspired upgrades, according to a post on X (formerly Twitter) by the official account for the Games on Tuesday.
Venture capitalist Christian Angermeyer and former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan were also named as contributors to the Games’ “investors’ circle.” The funding round yielded enough capital to pay for the first edition of the Games, founder and Australian venture capitalist Aron D’Souza told the New York Post on Thursday. However, D’Souza declined to reveal the absolute total raised, merely stating that it was in the “high single-digit millions.”
Thiel reportedly plans to provide more details regarding his investment in April and will promote the Games during the ‘real’ Olympics in Paris in July. The Palantir CEO is himself an avid doper, taking human growth hormone and metformin for muscle-building and anti-aging purposes, respectively, and hopes to be cryogenically frozen before death.
Several cities are currently in talks to host the Games, D’Souza claimed, predicting the first competition will take place by the middle of next year using existing sporting facilities – an attempt to avoid the taxpayer-funded bonanza of construction that typically occurs when cities compete to host the Olympics.
In addition to taking performance-enhancing drugs, athletes are encouraged to use so-called “performance technology” like the polyurethane swimming “super suits” banned by FINA in 2010 after they were used to break 55 world records in a single year.
D’Souza justified the idea of allowing athletes to take drugs “out in the open and honestly” by claiming that “44% of Olympians admit to using banned substances while only 1% get caught.” He cast his pro-doping outlook as a stand for medical freedom, telling the Post, “Individuals should be able to make choices about your body and no one – whether it’s a sports federation or the government – should be able to tell them what to do about it.”
The investor also pitched his event as a boon to scientific research, with athletes as guinea pigs testing which “compounds and therapies” work for “extending human life.”
D’Souza claimed over 900 athletes have contacted him with interest in competing in the Games since he revealed the concept last year. Unlike the Olympics, the Games promise every competitor a sizable base salary in addition to competition winnings.
US Anti Doping Agency head Travis Tygart dismissed the Games as a “dangerous clown show” and “not real sport” in a November interview with CNN, while former Australian Olympic gold medalist Anna Meares called it “unfair, unsafe” and “a joke.” Lawyer Jim Walden added that it was probably illegal in the US.