Olympians benefiting from Singleton’s OLY tag initiative
Patrick Singleton hopes his idea of giving Olympians a chance to award themselves by putting OLY after their name will help their post-athletic careers.
The honour is available to the 100,000 living Olympians after the World Olympians Association, of which Singleton is treasurer, launched the initiative.
Singleton, a three-times Olympian, believes the commitment, dedication and perseverance required to reach the Olympic Games is similar to studying for a PhD, and that athletes should be recognised for their sacrifices.
“One of the problems many Olympians face is post-career transition, when they are moving out of their sport and into their working life,” Singleton said.
“I was thinking about ways to help Olympians. Many of them may not have a degree or qualifications, as they have dedicated much of their young lives to perfecting their sport.
“There’s a metric that says to win an Olympic medal you will have had to put in 10,000 hours of quality training.
“It’s the same if you’re studying to be a doctor or an accountant, and you get a designation afterwards.”
The 43-year-old, who represented Bermuda in the luge and skeleton, feels the post-nominal letters will prove to be an “incredibly powerful and useful” tool for Olympians.
“The WOA team have done a fantastic job in taking the idea I came up with and really making it better,” Singleton said.
“We have these fantastic certificates and you can put the letters on business cards, résumés, websites — it really helps the athletes. The feedback we’ve been getting is phenomenal.”
Athletes found guilty of doping will not be eligible for the tag, said Singleton, who considers it to be a celebration of the Olympic values.
“It’s positive for Olympians; they’ve reached the pinnacle of their career and the vast majority are clean,” he said.
“We launched it three weeks ago and have processed about 5,000. We have a backlog because we have to check with the International Olympic Committee that [athletes] competed and that they don’t have marks for doping.
“They need to uphold the Olympic values and dopers won’t be getting it.”
Singleton has encouraged all of Bermuda’s Olympians to take advantage of the initiative.
“A lot of Bermudian Olympians already have them,” he said. “I hope all of the Bermudians sign up and use it to help their career; that’s what it’s there for.”
Katura Horton-Perinchief, a diver at the Athens Olympics in 2004, is among those to have received the designation.
“The exclusivity of this club is not lost on me,” she wrote on Facebook. Diving will always be near and dear to my heart, and I am grateful that I was afforded the opportunity to represent my country at the Olympic Games. I am so proud to be an Olympian.”
Olympians may also register for a free @olympian.org e-mail address.
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