While I was
How about these guys? This couple was trying to make the Olympics, him in the steeplechase and her in the marathon or 10,000 (neither made it unfortunately) and they were on freaking food stamps! This quote was also interesting:
"A recent foundation survey found that 80 percent of pro track and field athletes ranked in the U.S. top 10 in their event make less than $50,000 per year in sport-related income, and half make less than $15,000. Cull out marquee events like the 100 meters and the marathon, and the numbers grow even grimmer."
A book recently came out from an Olympian detailing some of the struggles she had. Dominique Moceanu, a former gymnast speaks about alleged 'abuse' from her coach. I haven't read the book but this article talks about eating issues and crazy workout schedules. I guess what most shocked me later was that I wasn't shocked. You sort of hear about this stuff all the time, particularly in certain sports like gymnastics.
And prolific swimmer (and model) Amanda Beard recently spoke out about her struggles with bulimia and depression - and she was an Olympian! It makes me wonder about all those who got close and but never made it - how many of them dealt with the pressure in similar ways.
Anyways, I just found it interesting how glitzy the tv makes it all feel, so you and me on the couch thinks it's the most awesome thing ever to train for an Olympic spot. They don't tell you the real deal of people barely scraping by and not making it, or making it and being too f'd up to even enjoy it.
I do feel for those who barely make any money, but on the other hand sometimes I see these athletes and think, oh just get a job. The irony of me being mired in work spreadsheets while simultaneously feeling sympathy and jealousy is not lost on me.
But don't get me wrong, I love watching the events, the stories, and reading about it. That's why our DVR is filled with prelims and finals of every sport that was on tv.