As we head into the final moments of the Sochi Winter Olympics, we continue to support our team of outstanding athletes as they compete with the whole world watching. In the United States, it is common to associate professional athletes with a hefty paycheck, but you may be surprised to find out that this is not the case for many Olympic competitors.
Besides the lucky ones who flew into Sochi with a multimillion-dollar endorsement deal, there’s a good chance that athletes are just breaking even when it comes to their finances. But for these athletes, it becomes evident that they chose their careers out of love for the sport- something that many people forget to think about when in the midst of career exploration.
According to Olympic curler, Allison Pottinger, “There (are) very few people in curling for the money…but there are so many things you gain that aren’t monetary.” Many Olympians will start online funds to help raise money to compete. In contrast, famous snowboarder Shaun White, sponsor of GoPro and owner of his own clothing line has very different incentives to succeed. This brings up the question, Even if you are making lots of money, do you truly love what you are doing to get it?
Pottinger has two young kids, trains early in the morning, works a day job, and uses her vacation time just to compete. Through all the stressful times, she claims that she doesn’t have any regrets. What career would you love to do even if the pay wasn’t ideal? People who incorporate their passions into their job will ultimately be happier and more successful throughout their career because they strive to succeed for more than just financial reasons. Discover what you love and make a career out of it- Just ask the Olympians, it’s worth it!