What if you had a full-time day job and also had to train 30 hours-a-week in order to compete in the Olympics? It’s well known that unless you’re super lucky and get a sponsorship deal, you don’t make a lot of money from being a professional athlete. Not everyone gets to be a Usain Bolt or a Jessica Ennis-Hill. In fact, not many at all do. So, for many and more of those beloved Olympians, moonlighting is a necessary evil if they want to afford to be an athlete.
Perhaps some of your employees have the potential to be an Olympic Champion! Do you know of any colleagues who Instagram their gym updates (we all love those people), and get heavily involved in Cycle-to-Work schemes? Is there anything you could be doing to encourage their talent? We could be reading about them in four years' time...
Ed Ling, Great Britain
Day job: Farmer
When he's not winning Olympic bronze in trap shooting, Ed's grafting away on his farm in Somerset. He won bronze on Day 3 of the 2016 Games, and returned home to work on the farm three days later, making his medal the first one to make it back to Britain.
Kazuki Yazawa, Japan
Event: Canoe Slalom
Day job: Buddhist monk
What a super interesting man! Not only does he compete in the canoe slalom for Japan, but he’s also a Buddhist monk. Guess he takes the whole ‘mind over matter’ thing to the next level.
Raheleh Asemani, Belgium
Day job: Post woman
Raheleh is an Iranian refugee who got her Belgian citizenship just in time to compete for them in taekwondo. As well as being an inspirational figure, she’s a formidable fighter, and also a post woman.
Gemma Beadsworth, Australia
Event: Water polo
Day job: Research analyst
“Beads” is a research analyst, currently working as an Assistant Development Manager for a landscaping company. When she’s not doing that, though, she likes to occasionally compete at the Olympics in water polo for the US. Her brother, Jamie, is a former Olympic water polo-er as well as being a lawyer. Some people do like to pile on the work…
Nathan Burgers, Australia
Day job: Teacher
We’re cheating here a bit because Nathan isn’t competing in Rio, but he was in London and he’s got an awesome name so we had to keep him in. Not only was he an Australian hockey player, he’s also a teacher.
Patricia Alejandra Bermudez, Argentina
Day job: Police officer
Standing at a whopping 4’11”, Patricia is a force to be reckoned with. She’s an Olympic wrestler AND a police officer. We would love to see video footage of anyone who underestimates her…
Melissa Stockwell, USA
Event: Paralympic triathlon
Day job: U.S. Army officer and Prosthetist
Every so often, someone comes along who is just so awesome that it puts everyone else to shame. Melissa served in the armed forces and was the first woman to lose a limb in the Iraq war. She didn’t let that hold her back, as she is competing in the first ever Paralympic Games triathlon, and she works as a prosthetist – helping to fit amputees for prosthetics. What a woman!
Stephen Mozia, Nigeria
Event: Shot put and Discus throw
Day job: Engineer
Stephen competes for Nigeria in the shotput and discus. He’s also an engineer. Because, ya know, that’s a super easy side job.
Joel Dennerley, Australia
Event: Water polo
Day job: Business Development at Coca-Cola
The Aussie water polo competitor also works for Coca Cola as a Business Development Manager. Our guess is that he’s got some pretty good sponsorship going on…
Dipa Karmakar, India
Day job: Sports officer
Not only is she the first ever Indian female gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, but she’s also a Sports Officer in the Tripura Government (India’s smallest state). She was a physical instructor but got a promotion when she put in an awesome performance at the World Gymnastics Championships in November 2015.
Tim Wynter, Jamaica
Day job: Student
Fancy feeling old? This Jamaican swimmer was born in 1996. He’s younger than Toy Story. The Kingston native attends the University of Southern California, majoring in psychology.
Gaurika Singh, Nepal
Day job: School kid
If a 20-year-old wasn’t making you feel bad enough, the youngest competitor at Rio 2016 is Gaurika Singh who is 13. THIRTEEN YEARS OLD. I have jeans which are older than her. The Nepalese swimmer unfortunately didn't advance through her heat, but we’re sure we’ll be seeing her at Tokyo 2020 once she’s finished her (Nepalese equivalent of) GCSEs.
So, there you have it: 12 people who are winning at life and getting the most out of every hour of the day. How do they do it? How can you become this productive? A lot of sports psychology is applicable to the workplace as well. In fact, we researched it, and you can see what we found here.
There's a wide variety of benefits available which could help to get your workforce active. At Benefex, we tend to find the most popular is Cycle-to-Work, but we also offer corporate gym memberships, experience days and health screening, all of which can get your team active and help uncover the hidden Olympian in you.