Athletes know that they, for better or worse, can't compete at an elite level forever. Nearly 100 members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams attended the Athlete Career and Education (ACE) Olympic and Paralympic Summit 2018 last week with an eye on the next stage of their lives. They spoke with business professionals, had networking opportunities and fleshed out some of their plans for the future.
What do those futures entail? Nine Olympians and Paralympians spill on what their dream job would be.
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Kirk Black, Wheelchair Curling
“I had my dream job before my injury, so after my injury I don’t know what that new dream job is yet. Being 48 years old you’d think I’d have that figured out by now. I had it figured out when I was 18, but it’s changed now. I like teaching. I was formerly in aviation. Aviation took me all over the world. So maybe getting into aviation again and teaching in some form or fashion.”
Bryan Fletcher, Nordic Combined
“I’m trying to work towards it, but I think I want to be a PA, a physician’s assistant. You’re basically running like a doctor. You’re diagnosing, treating and doing patient care, so doing a lot of different things in the medical field, but you’re doing it under a physician’s license. It would be a different experience in the sense that you’re not the end decision-maker, you have a fallback, but you have a lot of autonomy.”
Ashley Caldwell, Freestyle Skiing
“Professional ice cream tester! Some job somewhere warm. Professional surfer?”
Emily Sweeney, Luge
“I would love to go to school for nutrition and partner with someone who wants to have an Airbnb-type place, but in Italy, like an Italian villa. I would do the cooking, growing section and kind of have a healthy lifestyle sort of retreat for people to come and reach out to the community, teach kids how to grow their food, eat healthy and all that stuff.”
Kelly Clark, Snowboarding
“Snowboarding’s not cut and dry. There’s a culture and there’s an industry that goes along with it, so whenever I do decide to stop competing, I expect to continue to be involved and be a snowboarder for a number of years. I don’t know if I can put the traditional title of a job, but I will be a snowboarder.”
Erin Hamlin, Luge
“I’ve probably got like 20 dream jobs. It depends on the day! It’s tough. I’d definitely love to have some sort of job in sustainability that’s involved with sporting events. Maybe the Olympics. Maybe bidding processes, or… a home Olympics, LA 2028. Broadcasting is something else that’s on the radar, in sports and the Olympics.”
Meghan Duggan, Ice Hockey
“I think my dream job would be to own and operate my own health and wellness center. I guess that’s kind of broad, but all aspects of taking care of the human body.”
John Shuster, Curling
“Honestly my dream job is to be involved in curling and help expand our sport. If I can do that and also help my wife, who’s the main moneymaker in my family, pay bills, I would love to do that in any respect, whether it be from a development standpoint or broadcasting or any aspect. I just really love my sport and plan on being around it for a long, long time.”
Elana Meyers Taylor, Bobsled
“CEO of the USOC.”