Natalia Lusinski
August 06, 2016 9:29 am
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We know Olympians are superstars when it comes to their *amazing* performances at the Games, as well as before and after the Games. But when it comes to paying the bills when they’re not at the Olympics, how do they do it if they don’t have huge endorsement deals?

For instance, Julie Johnston has Special K® Red Berries:

Michael Phelps has Under Armour (and he’s also among the top eight richest athletes competing in Rio, with an estimated net worth of $55 million):

ICYMI, there are 10,500 athletes (from 206 countries) competing at this year’s Games, 550 of whom rep Team USA. Surely, not everyone is on a cereal box or endorsing a shoe.

So, if an Olympian doesn’t have a sponsor or a donor, what are they supposed to do? Some get free use of training facilities, create GoFundMe pages, and/or have part- and full-time jobs. TBH, this last one makes us love them even more — they’re one of us!

That said, they need to make sure to find jobs that let them get time off for important occasions like, you know, the Olympics.

On Stephen Mozia’s Instagram, the 22-year-old describes himself as:

“Ivy League Engineering graduate. Nigerian shot put record holder”

Don’t you love how he puts “Nigerian shot put record holder” after the fact that he’s an engineering graduate?! So humble. He works at Emerson Electric as a sales support engineer, he told Throwholics….that is, when he’s not one of the elite Olympians, of course.

Here he is at one job:

And here he is at another:

Nathalie Marchino, 35, is another Olympian/real-world worker. When she isn’t playing rugby at the Olympics, she works in sales for Twitter.

Juggling work and rugby has been part of my reality for so long that I’ve just accepted that it is that way,” Marchino told ESPN. “However, going to the Games would make it all worth it.”

She’s gotten her wish, competing for Colombia at the Games. She’ll take five months off from Twitter to do it.

Many other Olympians have been holding down non-Olympic jobs, too:

Canoer/kayaker Ashley Nee, from Team USA, who worked as an EMT in Maryland and is a kayaking instructor for Liquid Adventures.

Triathlete Gwen Jorgensen, also repping the USA, was an accountant at Ernst & Young.

Jeremy Taiwo is an American decathlete and works at Dick’s Sporting Goods when not competing for Team USA. The sporting goods store strives to offer flexibility for athletes training for the Olympics.

Raheleh Asemani, who was born in Iran, then fled to Belgium three years ago, will be competing in tae kwon do for Belgian’s Olympic team. In the meantime, she works as a postwoman.

And Kazuki Yazawa, who’s repping Japan as a slalom canoeist, is also a Buddhist priest. NBD, right?

If all this isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is. We know one thing for sure: The next time we think we don’t have time to work a day job and work on our passion, we’ll think again.