Every four years, the best athletes from all over the world converge into the biggest sporting event. All eyes are on these athletes as they compete and give their best for their countries and for themselves. When they emerge victorious, their families, friends and supporters from their countries celebrate their success and herald them as modern heroes. Everybody has a great time, and the winners make their mark in the legacy of their chosen field or sport. They make a name for themselves and make their nations proud.
What happens the Olympians that don’t medal? Nobody ever seems to notice the athletes who have failed to put themselves on the Olympic pedestal, especially when the event is all done and people move on with their lives. Sure, they can compete in another four years’ time, but what happens until then? This should not be a question for the more popular athletes, like those who have reached celebrity status – especially those who come from America. Making money would be as easy as posing for some commercial or advocating for a sponsor, a brand, a product. It all seems like they are having the time of their lives.
For the non-champions and those who have not had even a single endorsement, there is no other way to go but to return to their normal lives, whatever that may entail. It may be an office job, running a business, going back to school, or being with one’s family. People often assume that athletes do better in life, generally speaking, because of their intense training and the character values that they have built in the process. Confidence, diligence, discipline, perseverance, and hard work, to name a few. Many would be shocked to learn that this is not true for every athlete. In fact, many of the post-Olympian participants find it quite hard to resume their previous engagements or careers. A recent study shows evidence that athletes may be challenged a whole lot when making the shift back to regular life. Read more about this study from Jena McGregor’s article.