Apolo Ohno: ‘99% of Olympic Athletes Make No Money’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI/Shutterstock (12346807b)Apolo Anton Ohno of the United States celebrates after winning his eighth Olympic medal, a bronze in the men's 5000 meter relay short track speed skating final at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada on February 26, 2010.
Brian Kersey/UPI/Shutterstock / Brian Kersey/UPI/Shutterstock

With the Winter Olympics are underway in Beijing, there might be no better time for me to host eight-time medalist in the Olympics Apolo Ohno on our Live Richer Podcast.

Listen: Liver Richer Podcast, Episode 5: Apolo Ohno Shares the Secret to His ‘Gold Medal Mindset’

Apolo is not only an Olympic athlete, he’s a businessman, an entrepreneur, an author and a motivational speaker, and I was super excited to have him on the podcast.

I had a ton of questions for him, and he shared his insights on a range of topics, including what the misconceptions around the Olympics are, what are the physical and financial struggles some Olympic athletes face, and he also talked about his childhood.

He told me that one of the most common misconceptions around the Olympic space is that it is funded and subsidized by the government. However, Olympic athletes are, in every instance – every quad, every four years – having to go out and effectively find both local and national sponsors to underwrite their entire process of making an Olympic team.

“If they’re able to win and have a consistent result track record, then I think that typically NBC shines this spotlight on them and they’re in a sport maybe that gets a lot more air time, so to speak, like a skiing or a swimming or a track and field, or even a gymnastics, and what that can do is it just elevates the opportunity for those specific athletes to go and get sponsors,” Apolo told me.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Learn: Live Richer Podcast, Episode 3: Deepak Chopra
Read More: 16 Effective Tips and Tricks To Help You Save Money In 2022

He also talked about his new book, “Hard Pivot,” which he described as a book about embracing change “and having a full understanding that change is going to happen and that life will give you all different types of challenges and struggles that at the time feels very unfair and that you’re not ready for.”

“Whatever the circumstance is, yes, we can reinvent and pivot, but it’s up to yourself, I can say so much to someone, even through this book, but if that person who’s reading or that person who’s going through their life consistently reverts back to the median of what feels normal and comfortable and safe, nothing changes,” Apolo told me. “That, to me, is perhaps the most dangerous of any situations, because when you’re not willing to embrace that change and you only want to stick to the existing blueprint, nothing will ever change. When you’re seeking to achieve something extraordinary, it’s going to take you to do something you’ve never done before, and that’s hard.

Find Out: 101 Easy Ways To Save Money Daily
Money Mindset: Live Richer Podcast, Episode 2: Jaspreet Singh

Finally, I of course asked him what does live richer mean to him, and his answer was very surprising.

“To me, it’s about living those 86,400 seconds a day not in a state of negativity where this wild brain of mine is hijacking my attention to tell me that I’m less than and never going to be good enough and effectively handcuffed to always being a future self. Being and living richer, I believe, comes from within. Yes, does that have external goals and signals that society has given me around financial, around family, around happiness? Absolutely, and that’s okay. I’m okay with that. But I think internally at the highest echelons of fulfillment and happiness living richer comes from that joy of feeling like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing”

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Make sure to listen to more of Apolo’s insights in the full podcast episode and visit ApoloOhno.com for more book details.

More From GOBankingRates

Share this article:

Make Your Money Work Better for You

About the Author

With eight years of experience working in the personal finance space at GOBankingRates, Jaime Catmull has amassed an extensive network of financial influencers and experts. Now, she’s tapping that network to get the real scoop on how you can live your best financial life and increase your wealth.
Learn More