7 Olympic Athletes' Day Jobs

PHOTO: Gwen Jorgensen (R) of the USA competes in the running stage of the Women's Triathlon event at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Hyde Park on August 4, 2012 in London, England.
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Tossing a javelin around won't pay the rent—at least not for most Olympians. To keep themselves in talcum powder and Ben Gay, and to earn an honest living, the athletes competing in this year's games have had to take a wide variety of jobs, ranging from the grubby (garbage collector, janitor) to the staid (accountant) to the exotic (motion designer, monk).

Some Olympians say the persistence and discipline learned in the pool or on the playing field have served them well in the workplace: U.S. water polo player Peter Hudnut had to survive 28 interviews in order to land a finance job at Goldman Sachs, says Bloomberg News. After the games wrap up on Aug. 12, he will join Goldman's private wealth management division. Hudnut tells Bloomberg, "All the things I've learned in water polo are very applicable in finance" (especially when your customer is underwater). To learn more about Hudnut's day job and those of 6 other Olympians, read on.

Wealth Manager

PHOTO: Peter Hudnut of the United States competes during the Men's Water Polo Preliminary Round match between Great Britain and the United States at the Water Polo Arena on August 2, 2012 in London, England.
Michael Steele/Getty Images
1.
Peter Hudnut, USA: Water Polo

Hudnut, 32, thanks a series of sports injuries for having put him on the sidelines long enough to serve internships at Bank of New York, CIM Group and elsewhere in the corporate world. These—plus the discipline and determination he's learned as an athlete—have helped him land a finance job at Goldman Sachs, which he'll start after the Olympics end Aug. 12, he tells Bloomberg News.

Janitor

PHOTO: Ethiopian Arado Urige Buta crosses the line to win the 5000m national class at the Bislett Games in Oslo on June 4, 2010.
LISE ASERUD/AFP/Getty Images
2.
Urige Buta, Norway: Marathon

To escape Norway's brutal winters, this native of Ethiopia trained underground, in sewage tunnels. Yahoo Sports says that to earn a living he now cleans offices and school rooms, training on his shift breaks. A facilities management company has offered him paid leave, so he can devote more time to training.

Jack of All Trades

PHOTO: Lance Brooks of the United States competes in the Men's Discus Throw qualification 5on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 6, 2012 in London, England.
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
3.
Lance Brooks, USA: Discus

Runners can land valuable endorsement deals. Discus throwers, not so much. Most need to toil outside of sports to earn their keep. Brooks, 28, has been a jack of all trades, working jobs in construction, retail and hospitality (he's been a bartender and a bouncer). It was while bartending that he met his coach-to-be, according to Yahoo Sports. He tells ESPN that his post-London ambition is to find a career: "Throwing has been great for me. But when it comes down to it, I want to find something I can retire on."

Buddhist monk

PHOTO: Kenki Sato of Japan riding Chippieh negotiates a water jump in the Eventing Cross Country Equestrian event on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on July 30, 2012 in London, England.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
4.
Kenki Sato, Japan: Equestrian

When not in the saddle, Sato, a Buddhist monk, sits and meditates. And boy, does he ever—sometimes for upwards of 19 hours a day, he tells the Associated Press. He does it at his family's Nagano temple near the site of the 1998 winter games. He says his religious discipline helps him when he's riding: "Before the competition starts," he tells the AP, "I concentrate. I'm behaving more like a monk."

Accountant, Ernst & Young, Milwaukee

PHOTO: Gwen Jorgensen (R) of the USA and Maaike Caelers of the Netherlands compete in the running stage of the Women's Triathlon event at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Hyde Park on August 4, 2012 in London, England.
Oli Scarff/Getty Images
5.
Gwen Jorgensen, USA: Triathlon

After the Olympics, Jorgensen, 26, tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune she plans to return to her job as an accountant at Ernst & Young in Milwaukee. Though she worked full-time at the start of her career as a triathlete, E&Y allowed her to scale back her office time as she became more proficient, she says. Her co-workers decorated her desk with Olympic paraphernalia, says the Tribune, when she qualified for the London games.

Animator/ Motion Designer

PHOTO: Chas Betts celebrates his win over Jordan Holm in the 84 kg Grecco-Roman weight class during the finals of the US Wrestling Olympic Trials at Carver Hawkeye Arena on April 21, 2012 in Iowa City, Iowa.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
6.
Chas Betts, USA: Wrestling

The 25-year old has a website showcasing his animation projects, which include ones for USA Wrestling and for…uh…the powdered-tobacco product Camel Snus (tagline: 'Taste Victory'). Potential employers will discover Betts to be a young man unconstrained by political correctness. Of Greco-Roman wrestling his blog says: "The sport can still be very beautiful, if we cut out some of the bullcrap."

Garbage collector

PHOTO: Natasha Perdue of Great Britain competes in the Women's 69kg Weightlifting on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at  ExCeL on August 1, 2012 in London, England.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
7.
Natasha Perdue, UK: Weightlifting

Perdue's sport used to be karate, but she switched to weightlifting following the death of her father, who had been a lifter. "I would love him to be here [in London]," she told BBC Wales Sport, "just to see what he would say to me." When not hefting weights, the 36-year old hoists cans, in her capacity as a garbage collector for the refuse department of the city of Leeds, according to Yahoo Sports.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...