Every rule has an exception. These athletes are square pegs in round holes, and from Lawyers to Princes we've jotted down a list of the most interesting athletes who balance part-time jobs along with training for the Olympics. Do take a look!
1. GEREK MEINHARDT
Gerek Meinhardt was the youngest ever fencer when he made it to Team-USA for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Fast forward 8 years he turned into a well-rounded professional athlete.
Training for Rio 2016, his standard day involved training for two hours every morning before heading to his day job as a risk analytics consultant at Deloitte & Touche LLP in San Francisco. Evenings would entail practicing even more at a fencing gym. His efforts paid off, as Gerek sealed USA's first Team foil bronze medal since Los Angeles 1932.
Along with fencing he is currently studying to become a doctor at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Taking a flight back to the US after his recent defeat in the round of 32 at the Tokyo Olympics wasn't a necessity, as his wife Lee Kiefer was participating too. Fortunately Gerek cheering from the stands paid off as his wife won gold in style.
Gerek teaches us that boundaries are meant to be broken and never backs away from a challenge.
2. NATHALIE MARCHINO
Meet this Colombian star who represented Colombia at Rio 2016, having previously played for the USA at the Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens. While she wasn't occupied on the field, she was busy making deals for Twitter in the boardroom.
Writer Ross Kenneth Urken tells the story of Marchino, who would leave her Oakland, California, apartment at 5:30 every morning and was on the nearby track by 6 a.m. She had to finish her speed workouts by 7:30 a.m. to be at work by 8 a.m. in her San Francisco office, where she is a sales account manager.
Marchino took a five-month leave of absence to prepare for Rio and said that the balance was not easy, but rewards were great.
In an interview she said that she always wanted to compete at a high level, and most importantly needed to find something that would help her finance that. She further added that juggling work and rugby has been part of my reality for so long, but going to the Olympic Games makes it all worth it.
3. LANNI MERCHANT
Lanni made history by competing in both the 10,000m and marathon in Rio, becoming the first Canadian to do so at an Olympic game. But despite the thousands of training miles she had to complete ahead of the Games, she still dedicated plenty of time to her career as criminal defense attorney for a law firm in the United States. Lanni always has an eye for what's to come, as she stresses on the importance of looking into the future and considering life after sport, regardless of how daunting it can be.
“Running is my priority,” says Lanni. “But there’s a time limit on being able to run at this level, and I’m well aware of that. I really want to keep practicing law because that’s what I’m educated in, and I’ll need something to keep me busy for when I retire.”
4. HUBERTUS VON HOHENLOHE
Mexican Alpine skier Hubertus Von Hohenlohe was named as NBC's "Most Interesting Olympian in the World" after he competed in the 2014 Sochi Games as a member of Mexico’s team. If you're thinking that name sounds nowhere close to Mexican, you're right. He's a descendant of German royalty. His parents happen to be Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Ira of Fürstenberg.
He was found participating in six 6 winter Olympics, and when he’s not hitting the slopes, Von Hohenlohe is a photographer and a pop musician who’s released several albums. What's more interesting is that at 57, the athlete is also history’s second-oldest winter Olympian and along with being a German prince. Now that's what you call an introduction.
5. GWEN JORGENSEN
In 2011, U.S. triathlete Gwen Jorgensen qualified for the 2012 London Olympics less than two short years after completing her first triathlon. Sadly, Jorgensen placed only 38th after getting a flat tire on her bike.
Nonetheless she competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and was considered to be America’s best shot at winning the country’s first gold medal in triathalon, and so she did by completing the triathlon in 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 16 seconds.
Jorgensen is currently sponsored by multiple companies, and much of her income consists of prize money. But, before she qualified for the United States National Triathlon Team for the 2012 Olympics, she worked as an accountant for Ernst and Young. She later left the company to focus on her sport full-time, simultaneously being ranked highly. Jorgensen has switched her focus to 10,000m track for the Tokyo Olympics hoping to add more silverware.
6. PAUL ADAMS
Paul was utterly disappointed after narrowly missing out on a place at London 2012, and considered to quit shooting to pursue studies. But, somehow an unknown fighters spirit made itself known to Paul, which made him vow to continue pursuing his Olympic dream.
Adams went on to enjoy the best of both worlds, after he qualified for and competed at the Rio 2016 while training to become a registered nurse. He had begun working at a hospital in Brisbane shortly before the Games and had his employer’s full backing to balance work and shooting.
Paul concluded that his employers were extremely supportive and worked around his training schedule to make things work.
Balancing both work and the Olympic dream isn't a meal for everyone to digest. Yet, these athletes make it look so easy. We hope you have enjoyed reading about the anomalies of elite athletes. Let us know in the comment section below if at all any have taken you by surprise. SportsEquip caters to your every need by providing authentic sports equipment right at your door-step.