What do retired athletes do when their career is over. For most, they return home to the families who supported them throughout their careers. They are happy just being mom, dad, friend, spouse. Maybe they try to continue a revenue stream by lending their name to a clothing line, equipment, etc.
Some, however seem to need the spotlight. Having lived in its warm glow for so long, there must be some withdrawal symptoms when trying to live without it. This is what causes athletes to do crazy things.
One of my favorite athletes is Mario Cipollini. He is not necessarily one of my favorite ex-athletes. Lured by the seductive spotlight, Mario returned to center stage – literally. He joined the Italian version of dancing with the stars. This program seems to be the way station for athletes who need to cross-over into new careers.
Other athletes try to other sports. While not as embarrassing as a televised tango, it can harsh reality lesson to find out that success in one sport may not translate into another. Look at Michael Jordan’s baseball and golf career. Even Lance Armstrong showed a human side when running the New York Marathon last year.
These are the thoughts that crossed my mind when I read that tomorrow morning, the Ironman triathalon in Hawaii will have a familiar name starting. Laurent Jalabert. After retiring, Ja-Ja has spent most of his time sitting behind a microphone. This is not a recommended training regimen.
Will Ja-Ja get the best of the event? Or will he go down in the annals of athletes who learn the hard way.
It was a lot better when the only outlet for former athletes was The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.