Do you hear something? It’s the sound of proud citizens around the globe puffing their chests as athletes from their nation head to the Olympics. *hums national anthem*
Every two years, either the summer or winter games dominate our TV viewing for two weeks. Events we wouldn’t normally give two hoots about suddenly must be recorded. I admit, I only think about the biathlon every 206 weeks. Still, billions of people tune into the games every time they air. You don’t go out as much. You ignore the ringing phone. You pretend a foil-covered Ring Ding is a silver medal in bobsledding. (No? Just me?)
Host cities pour unbelievable amounts of money and energy into readying venues and lodging for the games. As a result, each city — this year Vancouver — experiences a temporary boost in jobs to construct and staff new stadiums and housing. London’s already seeing this happen for its 2012 games. And other existing jobs are put into overdrive as the city becomes the momentary center of the athletic world. For example, Ron Cameron is the general manager of BC Place, the stadium hosting the opening ceremonies. Read about his job here.
Because I have the games on my mind, I did a little digging to see how some past Olympians are earning paychecks now that they don’t have to devote 80 percent of their waking hours to training. As expected, many finish their educations and start families — especially when you remember that many Olympians are teenagers during competition. So here are a few medalists and where they are today.
Event: Women’s Individual All-Around gymnastics
Current occupation: Singer
Source: Her own site
Event: Parallel bars
Current occupation: Heads an organization that, according to its Web site, “specializes in the responsible transformation of urban markets.”
As always, good luck to all the Olympians (who are probably too busy to read this blog, but still) and have fun watching!