#EK (Be inspired!) Odd day jobs that Olympians do

The path to gold isn’t always a path to riches. Many Olympians train alongside their day jobs–picking up trash, fighting fires, or laying concrete.

Without sponsor support, financial backing, or paid leave, athletes have to fund their own training and Olympic dreams.

The days of the amateur-only Olympic Games may be long gone, but the “everyman” spirit lives on. –

By Andrew Dubbins

Team GB Kitting Out


When she isn’t lifting weights for Team GB, Welsh-born Natasha Perdue lifts garbage cans. The 36-year-old weightlifter balances her day job at the refuse department of Leeds City Council with an intense nine session a week training regime. Formerly a national karate champion, Perdue switched to weightlifting after her father (who lifted for Britain in Munich and Mexico) passed away.



Norwegian marathon runner Urige Buta works full-time as a janitor and trains during his shift breaks. Buta fled Ethiopia after his father was arrested for political dissidence. He found asylum in Norway, where he trained in an underground sewage tunnel to escape the harsh winters. He eventually caught the eye of marathon trainer Erling Askeland. ‘I went to see him and immediately knew he had it in him,’ said Askeland.

2012 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 7


After 12 hour construction shifts, 28-year-old Team USA discus-thrower Lance Brooks puts in two hours at his local gym. Unlike the money available to runners, discus throwers often need to take full-time jobs to make ends meet. At one point, Brooks had seven jobs, including construction worker, bouncer, bartender, substitute teacher, and Wal-Mart employee.

2012 Team USA Media Summit


21-year-old Julie Zetlin is an aspiring actress and Team USA rhythmic gymnast. After London, she plans to retire from gymnastics, move to LA, and pursue acting fulltime. She caught the acting bug at 4 years old when she landed a Welch’s grape juice TV commercial. Despite injuries and knee surgery, Zetlin earned a wild-card berth at the London Games.

2012 Olympic Teams Trials - Wrestling


25-year-old U.S. wrestler Chas Betts labels himself a Motion Designer first. Search his name and you’ll find his design website, with the brief introduction: “Hi. My name is Chas Betts and I am a motion designer. Please enjoy my projects and take a look at my blog to see what else I am up to when I’m not animating.” Spoiler alert: when he’s not animating, he’s wrestling. His father introduced him to the sport when he was five.

Triathlete Gwen Jorgensen poses for a portrait during the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Media Summit in Dallas


26-year-old Renaissance woman Gwen Jorgensen thrives at running, biking, swimming, and accounting. The Team USA triathlete is also an accountant with Ernst & Young in Milwaukee. She ran and swam for the University of Wisconsin, but didn’t begin competing in triathlons until 2010. Now, two years later, she’s off to London.

Samsung - World Rowing Cup 2012


Norway’s Olaf Tufte juggles three jobs: farmer, fireman, and gold medal-winning single-scull rower. Tufte earns a living by growing food on the family farm and fighting fires. He took home the silver in Sydney and overcame asthma and injuries to win gold in Beijing. As if that’s not enough, Tufte also hosts the “Tufte Farmers’ Challenge,” a competition for top Norwegian athletes featuring axe throwing, car-pulling, and tire flipping.

Source –> http://sports.yahoo.com


About Eddy Kimani

Kenyan living in Nairobi, taking it a day at a time...more to follow!

Posted on July 20, 2012, in Eddy's Picks, Sports. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great blog Eddy!!!

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