Study Says British Olympic Athletes Need Jobs

March 27, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. undecided (adj.) – not sure about something
Example: He is undecided on whether to play baseball or volleyball.

2. inevitable (adj.) – cannot be avoided, sure to happen
Example: Growing old is inevitable for everyone.

3. out-of-work (adj.) – unemployed or not working
ExampleOut-of-work people find it difficult to support themselves financially.

4. pentathlon (n.) – a contest with five different sports events like running, swimming, shooting, horseback riding and fencing.
ExampleAthletes who join a pentathlon must have a lot of stamina and a variety of skills. 

5. down on one’s luck (idiom.) – being in a difficult situation
Example: He was down on his luck after he lost his job.

Read the text below.

BBC Sports' latest research revealed that some of the 553 British athletes who participated in the London Olympics are unemployed and struggling to find new careers.

Since last year’s Olympic Games, more than 64 British athletes have given up sports while 24 are undecided about their futures.

Retiring is inevitable for athletes because of injuries, funding problems or the natural end of a sports career. But after years of excitement and focus on competitions, athletes may have trouble finding other jobs that can satisfy them.

To help out-of-work athletes, the British Olympic Association (BOA) launched an Athlete Career in England last January. About 150 athletes and 40 potential employers attended the event. The different companies and sports organizations gave advice and job opportunities to the athletes.

Georgina Harland, an Olympic bronze medal winner who retired from pentathlon because of an injury, said that BOA's Career Fair goal is to support athletes who are down on their luck. According to Harland, it was not easy giving up her sport. She is now employed as a sport engagement manager in BOA.

Many athletes also turn to part-time work so as not to give up their sport. Kate Walsh, captain of the Great Britain hockey team said her team needed to find jobs to support themselves after government funding for hockey was reduced last year.  

Working part-time in a public relations firm, Walsh says that it is very challenging to balance work and sports. Although she is working part-time, she has no plans of quitting hockey.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do you think athletes feel when they must give up their career?
·         How can people show or give support to former athletes?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people are not able to get the job they want?
·         What can we do so that we can get the job we really want?


March 27, 2013