That is why so many riders are riding instructors on the side or have lucrative part-time jobs, such as oil traders Jose Maria Larocca, a show jumper from Argentina who owns three of the four horses his team has fielded in Tokyo. (Most riders don’t own their horses.) But, he told NBC he needed the job, “to help me support my sport. Argentina is a bit removed from the center of sport in Europe, it’s not that easy getting horses and it would be a little more difficult [without my job]. “

Even comparatively spartan sports such as judo – two opponents, two judogi, barefoot – require a high financial commitment. Irish judoka Ben Fletcher—who competed in Rio for Great Britain and then moved to Ireland – works as a gardener in his parents’ garden center to finance his blooming dream and also manages the 100 kg of men in Tokyo. Australian skeet shooter Paul Adams was busy training to be a nurse before Rio and started there and in Tokyo as a full-fledged nurse and called his employer “very supportive” for his Olympic side business.

And she didn’t shoot and score (a medal) for Canada in Rio or Tokyo, but twice Olympic champion Lynda Kiejkos career as a civil engineer finances her training for various pistol events. She works at Altalink, the power transmission company that provides electricity to around 85 percent of the province of Alberta. When asked if she felt her two areas of expertise match, Kiejko said on’s Day Jobs series, “I think there is almost a direct link.” Technique is about solving a problem and figuring out “how it all works,” and shooting was very similar, she explained.

Figure skater Adam Rippon, one of the breakout stars of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, where he took the US team’s bronze medal, told CNBC Andrew Ross Sorkin on Squawk Box in 2018 that even after being a two-time junior world champion, he lived in his trainer’s basement and stole apples from the gym.