Olympians Putting Money in the Bank
The wild party that was the 2012 Olympics fades into dull reality and London goes back to business as usual. But what of the Olympians that wowed the world?
Some nations reward their winners with hundreds of thousands and others nothing more than a face on a stamp. But even after such worldwide glory and initial pay-outs, an Olympian has to make a living.
Read on to find out how Olympic medallists go on in life once theyΓÇÖve retired from the sports that made them living legends.
1. Commercial Endorsement
Commercialisation dominates the Olympic Games these days with adverts between events, sponsorships from every major brand and companies clamouring for some slice of the pie. But itΓÇÖs not just the stadium or the events that are being sponsored and branded ΓÇô itΓÇÖs the athletes.
The most famous names of the London 2012 Olympics are going on to multimillion advertising deals, becoming the frontmen and women of brands like Nike, Adidas, Virgin, KelloggΓÇÖs and Procter & Gamble.
Currently the best paid athlete is of course Usain Bolt, who is estimated to reach a potential $40.6 million in endorsements after his latest world record breaking wins. He is joined by fellow athletes Michael Phelps, Gabrielle Douglas, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis who, among many others, stand to make a fortune from their successes.
2. Hollywood Fame
Certain Olympians from times gone by found that their physique or unique skills could lead to a career on the Silver Screen and went on to become more famous for acting than they were for their Olympic achievements.
Did you know that Oddjob, the bowler hat wielding villainΓÇÖs heavyman from ΓÇÿGoldfingerΓÇÖ, won silver in weightlifting at the 1948 Olympics? Or that 1940s film star Buster Crabbe, who was Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Billy the Kid and Buck Rogers in Hollywood also won gold in swimming at the 1928 and 1936 Olympics?
Today, ex-Olympic reality TV stars, sitcom actors and sports presenters continue to find after-Games fame on the screen.
3. Starting a Business
Some might liken the dedication, sweat, toil and always-on nature of training for the Olympics to those skills needed to start a business.
For some medallists, the transition from sports champion to innovative business leader was as simple as a relocation of those skills from the stadium to the world of work.
Successful start-ups established by Olympians include sports entertainment channels, marketing solutions, corporate training firms and, naturally, a slew of sports training companies and clothing lines to capitalise on their positions as sought-after Olympic role models.
4. Working 9 to 5
In times of old, before the days of instant celebrity, many Olympians came from day jobs they simply returned to after winning medals and for them the Olympics was a fantastic by-line in their lives.
Jesse Owens, once the hero of the 1936 Berlin Olympics who so humiliated the Nazis by having the audacity to be an incredible medal-winning athlete and an African American, went home to work as a petrol station attendant and would race against horses for money, running a small dry cleaning business on the side.
Of having to get by any way he could, Owens said, ΓÇ£You canΓÇÖt eat four gold medals.ΓÇ¥
5. Back to School
For some Olympians, training for their medals eclipsed all in their younger years. Many skipped higher education as their peers went on to earn degrees at university and join the workforce.
Now, medal winners who have no marketable job skills have been flocking back to school with their awards in tow, looking to earn qualifications that will lead to a next-to-normal life after the Games.
Degrees taken by Olympians include economics, law, medicine, psychology, language and engineering.