August 10, 2016

The Day Jobs Of Olympic Athletes Might Surprise You

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are happening right now in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The events are officially running from August 5 to 21, 2016. Over 11,000 athletes from 206 countries will participate in 306 events in 28 sports during Rio 2016. Are you watching these Olympic athletes compete for gold, silver, and bronze?

Olympic Athlete holding multiple medals in the air

These athletic superstars are the best in the world at what they do. They will perform at their ultimate best as they represent their country on the world stage. To reach this level of athleticism they have trained for years to perfect their muscle memory, build their skill set, and reach their peak. Now is their chance to shine.

It might come as a surprise, but most Olympic athletes are not paid a full time wage for their hard work. Despite training around the clock, these Olympic athletes still have to make a living so that they can pay the bills. They must also cover the costs of coaches, trainers, medical expenses, equipment, and travel. So what are the day jobs of Olympic athletes?

We found a handful of different websites (,,, that highlight the day jobs of Olympic athletes. Find out what some of your favorite summer and winter Olympic athletes do to pay the bills below:

  • Boris Berian – Runner – Fast Food Worker
  • Heather Stanning – Rower – Army Officer
  • Serene Williams – Tennis – Fashion Designer
  • Oksana Chusovitina – Gymnast – Caretaker
  • Ibtihaj Muhammad – Fencer – Ambassador & Fashion Designer
  • Shaun White – Snowboarder/Skateboarder – Enterpreneur
  • Gwen Jorgensen – Triathlete – Accountant
  • Katelin Snyder – Rower – Coach
  • Ashton Eaton – Decathlete – Social Media Entrepreneur
  • Laura Graves – Equestrian – Hairstylist
  • Angel McCoughtry – Basketball Player – Musician
  • Nico Hernandez – Boxer – Lube Tech
  • Ashley Nee – Kayaker – EMT and Adventure Kayaking Instructor
  • Mara Abbot – Cyclist – Yoga Instructor and Writer
  • Amy Cozad – Diver – Math Tutor
  • Bob and Mike Bryan – Tennis Players – Band Members
  • Meghan O’Leary – Rower – TV Production
  • Kerron Clement – Hurdler – Model and Actor
  • Michelle Carter – Shot Putter – Makeup Artist
  • Alex Naddour – Gymnast – Realtor
  • Steve Kasprzyk – Rower – Chemical Engineer
  • Megan Guarnier – Cyclist – Works at Engineering Firm
  • Briana Provancha – Sailor – Sales Associate at Cole Haan
  • Seth Weil – Rower – Works at a Juice Bar
  • Enkelejda Shehaj – Shooter – Owns a Restaurant
  • Cyrus Hostetler – Javelin – Web and Graphic Designer
  • Joh Nunn – Race Walker – Gourmet Cookie Business Owner
  • Jared Ward – Marathon Runner – Statistics Professor
  • Andrew Campbell Jr. – Rower – Works at Fintech Startup
  • Christa Dietzen – Volleyball Player – Elementary School Teacher
  • Raheleh Asemani – Tae Kwon Do – Postwoman
  • Nathalie Marchino – Rugby – Sales Team at Twitter
  • Miles Chamley-Watson – Fencer – Model
  • Stephen Mozia – Shot Putter – Sales Support Engineer at Emerson Electric
  • Kazuki Yazawa – Canoeist – Buddhist Priest
  • Jeremy Taiwo – Decathlete – Works At Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Jamie Nieto – Jumper – Actor
  • Lance Brooks – Discus Thrower – Construction Worker
  • Jazmine Fenlator – Bobsled Driver – Dog Walker
  • Race Imboden – Fencer – Disc Jockey
  • Dennis Bowsher – Pentathalon – Army Specialist
  • Jared Frayer – Wrestler – Coach/Teacher
  • Troy Dumais – Diver – Life Advisor
  • Natalie Dell – Rower – Health Researcher
  • Suzsanna Francia – Rower – Model/Writer
  • Chas Betts – Wrestler – Motion Graphics Designer
  • Nicole Joraanstad – Curler – Recruiter
  • Jonathan Cheever – Snowboarder – Plumber
  • Dotsie Bausch – Cyclist – Motivational Speaker
  • Emil Milev – Shooter – Teacher
  • Taylor Fletcher – Nordic Combined Skier – Waiter

As you can see these Olympic athletes have all sorts of cool jobs. They have worked hard to become some of the best athletes in the world and have maintained steady jobs. Hopefully this will motivate you to find jobs that allow you to pursue your dreams.

Now if a US athlete wins a medal they do collect a medal bonus – $25,000 for Gold, $15,000 for Silver, and $10,000 for Bronze. But this is not a lot of money considering the time and effort that they put into win it. There are a handful of athletes who have capitalized on their stardom and signed lucrative sponsorship deals, like Michael Phelps did. But most of the athletes we are watching compete at an international level will ultimately head back home at the end of the month to a normal job like you and I have.

Best of luck to all the Olympic athletes from around the world. We look forward to watching you compete for medals in this Olympics and in many more in the years to come.

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About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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