Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!

Do you hear something? It’s the sound of proud citizens around the globe puffing their chests asA athletesA 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.

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 toA constructA and staff new stadiums and housing.A London’s already seeing this happenA 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 theA general managerA of BC Place, the stadium hosting the opening ceremonies.

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 theirA educationsA 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.

Beth Barr
Event: 4x100m Medley Relay
Year: 1988
Medal: Silver
Current occupation: Owner of aA trainingA center for swimmers and triathletes
Source:A NPR

Carly Patterson
Event: Women’s Individual All-Around gymnastics
Year: 2004
Medal: Gold
Current occupation: Singer
Source:A Her own site

Dan O’Brien
Event: Decathlon
Year: 1996
Medal: Gold
Current occupation:A Motivational speaker
Source:A Forbes

Jair Lynch
Event: Parallel bars
Year: 1996
Medal: Silver
Current occupation: Heads an organization thatA “specializes in the responsible transformation of urban markets.”
Source:A NPR

Peggy Fleming
Event: Figure skating
Year: 1968
Medal: Gold
Current occupation: Breast cancer activist and co-owner of aA vineyardA andA winery
Source:A WKYC

As always, good luck to all the Olympians (who are probably too busy to read this blog, but still) and have fun watching!


Mae Randolph