Things are exciting here in Colorado Springs, the hub of Olympic activity in the United States! It is only 100 days until the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England and just hearing the first couple notes of that Olympic theme makes my heart beat just a little faster and goose bumps suddenly appear. What? You didn’t know that Adecco is a big part of the Team behind Team USA? Adecco is a proud sponsor of Team USA and partner of the United States Olympic Committee.
There will be just over 500 athletes representing the U.S. at the Olympic Games and approximately 200 U.S. athletes in the Paralympic Games this summer. However there are thousands of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls training every day to pursue their dream of competing on the world’s largest stage and Adecco has been there to support them with the Athlete Career Program.
The Athlete Career Program is a unique partnership between Adecco and the USOC to give career services and job placement assistance to currently training hopefuls as well as retired athletes. Why are career services important to U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls? It just so happens that I am a picture perfect example of why this program is so valuable. As a National Champion in the sport of boxing, I had to make the difficult decision to quit my job as a television producer at a local Fox affiliate to fulfill my dream of competing in the Olympic Games. I moved out of my apartment, took out a personal loan and lived out of my Plymouth Sundance hatchback parked at the Poughkeepsie train station so I could afford to train full-time in NYC to make the first-ever World Championship team for women’s boxing.
Take my word for it, putting everything towards achieving a dream can be impossibly hard…it takes heart, tenacity and sacrifice. A program like this would have made my sport challenges and post-sport transition a lot easier! I now can bring my passion to the Adecco family as I’ve seen first-hand how the potential of this program could be life changing for our athletes. Through the Athlete Career Program we can not only be a part of athletes’ dreams, but we can also make their journey a little bit easier.
Currently we have 32 athletes working in the program. Job placements run the full range from athletes with little to no job experience to athletes that have their PhD’s. We have a beach volleyball player who is also a lawyer, a wheelchair rugby athlete working as a lobby ambassador, a fencer who has qualified for the London Games working as Client Services Investment Intern and five members of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team working with various USOC sponsor companies including the Adecco branch in San Diego.
In the months to come, I will be highlighting athletes in the program as well as what makes these athletes not only the best in the world at what they do, but top talent in the workplace as well! Look for my video blogs when I am on the ground in London for the Olympic Games this summer following the athletes in our program as well as the debut of first-ever women boxers as they fulfill a life-long dream going for the gold.
Stay tuned and thanks for being a part of the Team behind the Team. GO TEAM USA!