You spend years training patiently and persistently, demanding of yourself nothing but perfection. You'd think that would all come in handy when you climb down from that podium for the last time.
Not really, says a study of eight former Olympians by university researchers in Australia and Sweden.
"Olympism is a slippery term," the researchers said in a study they did for the International Olympic Committee. While science has paid attention to athletes and their transition into the rest of their lives. that hasn't often included former Olympians.
They found the perfectionism, submission to coach bullying or inhumane training and the need to perform for rewards can all work horribly against retired athletes.
So, too, the egocentricism and the lack of compromise they learn as competitors can also make for someone who's no fun in the post-Games workplace.
The study urged the IOC to figure out how to identify who needs an intensive course in life skills when they move on to something other than competitive sports.