With Super Bowl XLVIII officially wrapped up and Denver Broncos fans looking for something (anything!) to distract them from all the talk about Seattle parade routes, ring designs, and jokes about pre-Super Bowl printed Bronco victory shirts being shipped off to third world countries, maybe now is the right time (for Denver’s sake) to turn our attention to the next big sporting event. And with the opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics scheduled for this Friday, taking a look at some of the athletes heading to Sochi this week is good distraction.
Unlike NFL players, Olympians often have to work regular day job to make ends meet. Only a handful of Olympians get sizable endorsement deals that put them into seven-digit earnings territory. American alpine skiing star Lindsey Vonn made $3 million in endorsement deals with Under Armour, Head, Red Bull, Oakley, and Rolex, and U.S. speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno raked in $1.7 million from Coca-Cola, AT&T, and Alaska Airlines following his 2010 Olympics success.
But most Olympians work normal day jobs just like the rest of us. Take a look at these Sochi-bound athletes’ day jobs.
Kyle Tress, United States – Skeleton / Co-Founder of A Tiny Tribe
Kyle Tress will be boarding a plane for Sochi to compete for the U.S. in the men’s skeleton competition. He’s also the co-founder of a New York-based iOS app development company called A Tiny Tribe.
Brad Jacobs, Canada – Curling / Banking
Brad Jacob’s accounts will have to be handled by his colleagues while he curls for Team Canada at the 2014 Olympics. The Canadian skip currently works as an accounts manager for the Royal Bank of Canada.
Photo credit: Johnathan Hayward/The Canadian Press
Amy Sheehan, Australia – Freestyle Skiing / Illustrator and Author
Though she spends much of her time in New Zealand, Amy Sheehan will be representing Australia on the half pipe in Sochi. Sheehan is a published author and illustrator of children’s books.
Photo credit: Todd Korol/Getty Images North America
Armin Zöggeler, Italy – Luge / Police Officer
Italy’s Armin Zöggeler is one of luge’s most decorated athletes having medalled at every Winter Olympics since 1994 including gold medals in 2002 and 2006. The 40-year old police officer will be competing in his sixth Olympic games this month.
Photo credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images North America
Tomoko Sakagami, Japan – Ice Hockey / Pizza Delivery
Last year, the Japanese national women’s ice hockey team qualified for its first Olympics since 1998 when it competed as the host nation on Nagano ice. Forward Tomoko Sakagami financed her hockey career by delivering pizzas but thanks to the recent buzz that the Japanese hockey team has generated by qualifying, her and her teammates have received funding and employment support, making pizza deliveries a thing of the past for Tomoko.
Photo Credit: Bob Strong / Reuters
Jeff Isaacson, United States – Curling / Science Teacher
Jeff Isaacson has put his chemistry degree to good use as a science teacher at Gilbert Junior High School (insert Breaking Bad joke here). The Minnesotan is also vice skip of the U.S. men’s curling team and received an Olympic send-off last month from Gilbert students and staff.
Photo credit: Richard Gray / WCF
Aimee Watson, Australia – Cross-Country Skiing / Veterinarian
When she isn’t pushing her cardio to the max on the cross-country trails, Watson spends her time caring for animals as a veterinarian.
Photo credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac