The Olympics are always exciting to watch (especially when there are hidden shower cameras and a ton of cute stray dogs involved), but do you ever wonder what the athletes do after they compete? They don’t make anything like what professional athletes make; many struggle to find jobs after the games. The situation isn’t that much different from fresh college graduates actually, and what’s the best plan aside from getting a real job? Become an entrepreneur!
To give you an idea of what it costs to be an Olympic athlete, there’s expensive equipment, training, physiotherapy, club fees, travel, and thats all on top of everyday living expenses. It’s hard enough to find a job as it is, but imagine having to tell your boss, “Oh I just need to take a month off to compete… In the Olympics. Find me on NBC Sports.” That just doesn’t work in the real world (unfortunately), some Olympians have turned to starting their own businesses to stay afloat and pursue their athletic passion.
Three time Olympic curler Debbie McCormick worked at a Home Depot in Wisconsin for almost a decade while training- until she was let go when their Olympic work program ended. Rather than find another part-time job, she decided to become an entrepreneur and launch her her own company. McCormick now runs Goldline Mobile Pro Shop that travels to tournaments to sell curling equipment by Goldline Curling. McCormick will be competing in her fourth Olympic games in Sochi this year.
Canadian bobsledder/ entrepreneur Jesse Lumsden is competing in his second Olympic games in Russia. Two months ago Jesse started selling $15 bracelets made of outdoor survival rope that unravels into a 10 foot rope to use as a tool. He sold 150 in the first two days- today he’s sold more than 2000.
23-year-old fencer Aleks Ochocki is looking to compete in the 2016 games in Rio; he opened a fencing club in Clark, N.J. three weeks ago where he trains up and coming athletes. According to Ochocki, his club could earn up to $500,000 dollars a year when fully launched.
The list of Olympic athletes turned entrepreneurs just keeps growing. Josh Davis was a three time gold medalist at the 1996 summer games; he founded USA Swim Clinics that runs swim camps all over the U.S.; Olympic skier Michelle Roark started Phi-nomenal, a perfume company after she competed in the 2006 Winter Games; fellow skier Shannon Bahrke launched Silver Bean Coffee Company before she won the bronze at Vancouver in 2010. Don’t you think it’d be cool to partner up with an Olympic athlete for your next venture?