Olympic Transitions: Challenges for Athletes, Staff, and a System Constantly in Motion

Sean McCann, USOC, USA

Theme: Elite performance

Program ID: SYM-22

Presentation: October 5, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Napoleon


While the challenges faced by elite athletes transitioning out of sport have been well documented (Baillie, 1993; Lavallee, 1997; Stambulova & Alfermann, 2009; McCann, 2008), Olympic sport transitions have unique factors that increase challenges for all involved. One aspect is the unique quadrennial calendar that is just long enough to make coming back for another go round a daunting leap of faith, yet just short enough to cause doubt and hesitation about retiring from sport. In this year following the London Games, we have been working with athletes dealing with post-Games mood disturbance, while also attempting to manage the decision making process about stopping or continuing. This presenter will discuss efforts of our Olympic Committee to counsel athletes in transition, and also describe the challenges for ourselves as staff coming down from one Games and getting up for the next Games which arrives in just a few months in Sochi.

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