karnerblue: Monterey sea lion (Default)
[personal profile] karnerblue
Y'know, I think Johnny Weir is the smartest Olympian out there.

I mean, it's all well and good for all of these athletes to work so hard to get a gold medal -- but what happens afterward? Win or lose, your Olympic run has to end eventually. Even if you go again in four years, eventually, you'll have to stop. And then what?

If you want to stay in your field, stick with your sport, well, there are only so many slots available for coaches and commentators.

A small handful of Olympians, if they're good with their money, won't need to worry about what to do later -- they're the ones with the big endorsement deals. Michael Phelps should be set for life, if he doesn't squander his millions. Shaun White should be alright, too. And Lindsey Vonn, well, between her overcoming-the-odds story in these games and the fact that she's young and blonde and perky, she'll probably do fine with endorsements, too. But this is only a small number of the total number of people on Team USA.

There are opportunities out there, pro circuits, but mostly just the hardcore fans of your sport will pay attention to that stuff. There's not a ton of money to be made. But in ice skating, there are actually a few places where, if you're famous and enough regular folks care about you, you might just do alright for yourself -- say, those Stars on Ice tours.

Now, Evan Lysacek is a talented guy, for sure, and he won gold, and good for him. But is anyone gonna remember his name in six months? Nah, not many, not until four years from now, when we pay attention to figure skating again for a while. He's just another technically brilliant man going out there and skating to some classical piece we've probably never heard.

But Johnny Weir? He's still an Olympic-caliber skater, but he's also got personality. He goes out there and skates well, and he does it in over-the-top costumes to Lady Gaga. He might actually be remembered. He may not be taking home gold, but he's started to cement a post-Olympic future, one where people will buy tickets to go see him perform on a pro tour 'cause he's an interesting character who puts on a show that'll keep your attention. And that makes him savvier than most on our Olympic team.
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karnerblue: Monterey sea lion (Default)

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