Being an Olympic athlete is not a job per say, but it takes just as much work and dedication as one, if not more. Yes, Olympians can score huge endorsements, corporate sponsorships, and financial awards, but not everyone does and it is not likely. If you are in a less popular sport, good luck with that. When you consider how much Olympians have to shell out for the games and everything else that leads up the games, you will be wondering why they don’t have to work two jobs or more. Let’s take a look at the “real jobs” Olympians have.
The Cost of Being an Olympian
The Olympics are not cheap. The costs begin to add up early on in life. Getting to the Olympics can take an economical toll on athletes and their families. A few expenses Olympic athletes have to pay include:
- Coaching (which begins at a young age. Thanks mom and dad)
- Gear and custom items
- Entrance fees
- Food and lodging
- Travel and luggage fees
- Personal Training
How Olympians Pay to Play
USA Swimming raises about $100 million per year in registration fees. It spends about $3,000 on monthly stipends for national team members who rank at least 16th in the world and higher in their individual events, if the swimmer opts-in.
Olympians who do not receive stipends, sponsorships, endorsements, or medal endorsements, are often supported by their families and communities, they receive support from local businesses and sales, they can apply for grants, or they can get jobs.
Jobs Fit for Olympians
If you think you can guess what Olympians do or did for a living, you are in for a surprise. No, they aren’t all out coaching and making television appearances.
- Daniel Arnamnart: Australian swimmer
Arnamnart is a backstroke swimmer who competed in the 2012 London Olympics. He works as a writer.
- Dotsie Bausch: American cyclist
Job: motivational speaker
Dotsie earned a silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics. When she isn’t cycling for miles at a time for Team USA, she has her hands in many projects. You can catch her TEDX talk about compassion, she serves as an ambassador and sports analyst, and she is a professional consultant.
- Dennis Bowsher: American modern pentathlon
Job: US Army
Bowsher got his start as a swimmer in high school before competing as a pentathlete. Pentathletes complete five sports: cross-country run, 200-meter freestyle, show jumping, pistol shooting, and fencing. The event seems fitting for a member of the US Army World Class Athlete Program.
- Gemma Beadsworth: Australian water polo player
Job: research analyst
When Australian water polo player isn’t in the water, she works as a research analyst. Beadsworth won bronze medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games.
- Jamie Beadsworth: Australian water polo player
Brother Jamie is also an Australian water polo player. He made his Olympic debut alongside his sister in the 2008 games and was selected to compete in the 2012 London games.
- Lance Brooks: American discus thrower
Job: construction worker
As of 2012, Lance Brooks ranked number one in the USA and 34 in the World. He competed in the discus event at the 2012 London Olympics. After the Olympics, Lance went back to work in construction and pouring concrete. His dream is to find a career in Energy/Oil/Gas industries.
- Debbie Capozzi: American sailor
Job: Italian Ice sales at her family’s Italian ice store
Capozzi came in 7th place at the 2008 Olympic Games and 5th place at the 2012 games. When she isn’t rowing for team USA, the Old Dominion University graduate helps out at her family’s Italian ice shop in Patchogue, NY.
- Natalie Dell: USA rower
Job: health researcher
Natalie Dell took home a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic games. She has her Master’s in Public Health and works as a health researcher when she is not sculling.
- Troy Dumais: American diver
Job: University of Texas Life Coach
Troy Dumais is four-time Olympian. He has his BS in Exercise Science and works as a life coach at the University of Texas in Austin.
- Race Imboden: American fencer
Imboden, a 2012 Olympian, wears many hats when he isn’t fencing. Imboden became a model after the 2012 games, interned at a music label in 2012, and he has a DJ gig in his free time.
Elite athletes have regular lives just like the rest of us. The Olympics are expensive and making it is rare, but those who do make it to the games, often return back to work after representing Team USA.