The Second Act: Athletes Who Successfully Transitioned to Different Careers


Ending a sports career can be a crash for athletes that’s hard to cope with. But there’s definitely life after sports, and we’ll prove it in this post with some great examples. Also, we’ll give examples of Nigeria’s best betting apps you can use to wager on athletes still in action.

Sports Career Is Over. What’s Next?

All good things come to an end. And in sports, they end much faster. An athlete’s career is shorter than anywhere else. Sometimes, it can even end abruptly due to injury. So, thinking a few steps ahead is crucial to beat the competition as well as to take care of the future.

In reality, it’s hardly a feasible task for a sports professional to prepare for an alternative career. Everyday training and regular competitions take up almost all of the time. As a result, the athlete often leaves the gym and goes into complete obscurity.

A career in sports inevitably involves sacrifice. Family, friends, hobbies, social life, and education are frequently left out. Starting from scratch is not a rare case. All in all, retired athletes can follow several career paths, namely:

  • enter the coaching profession;
  • try their hand at refereeing;
  • move on to another sport;
  • switch careers while staying in the industry;
  • begin a profession in a different area. 

The last point is the most challenging. It requires education, exploring an unknown field, and building connections from the ground up. What can certainly ease the transition to new careers is the skills and qualities athletes have acquired in their previous lives, such as perseverance, self-discipline, endurance, stress tolerance, etc.

Athletes Who Made It

Losing a sports career can be devastating and cause serious problems, especially if it happens prematurely. To avoid issues and transition smoothly, athletes should behave in life like they did in the sports venue: keep it up and never give up.

Here are some truly inspiring stories of how to start things over and make it a success.

Emmanuel Pacquiao 

Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao is a boxing legend with numerous world records and titles. He’s the only boxer to be world champion for four decades, the only winner in eight diverse weight categories, and the world’s oldest welterweight champion, just to name a few.

While still delighting fans in the ring, Pacquiao launched his political career in his home country of the Philippines. He first won a seat in the House of Representatives and then the Senate. In 2022, he entered the presidential race and came in third. 

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne pitched high hopes in American football but eventually became the wrestling icon known as the Rock. An absolute crowd favorite, he’s a multiple-time winner of the World Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, and the Tag Team Championship.

With that, the wrestler’s acting career is just as prominent. Johnson’s incredible charm and charisma make him the centerpiece of any movie. The Rock is now a blockbuster star, one of the highest-paid actors, and one of the most-followed celebs on social media.

Hakeem Olajuwon

Nigerian-born Olajuwon is one of the world’s best basketball players, the most honored non-American in the NBA, and an Olympic gold medalist. As a longtime player and leader of the Houston Rockets, he was the reason for the team’s success on multiple occasions. 

Retiring as the NBA’s all-time leader in total blocks, Olajuwon has taken the lead in the Houston real estate market. The former All-Star center deals with ready-made property. His multi-million dollar earnings make him a big talent not only in sports but also in business. 

Mark Hamilton

Mark started playing baseball for his university team. He then went on to play in an amateur league, where he was named MVP. As his career progressed, Hamilton soon joined the MLB. As part of the St. Louis Cardinals, he became the 2011 World Series champion.

After finishing his professional baseball career, Hamilton returned to the university he played for as a student to complete his education and get a degree in neuroscience. He currently works as a radiologist at a medical center for healthcare professionals. 

Mobolaji Akiode

Playing first in the U.S. for high school and university, Akiode demonstrated outstanding basketball ability. With close ties to Nigeria, she then played for the country’s national basketball team at the Olympic Games in 2004 and the Commonwealth Games in 2006.

Retiring from sports, she founded a nonprofit organization called Hope 4 Girls Africa to help young women from Nigeria and other countries on the continent realize their potential. The initiative aims to provide educational and sporting opportunities.  

Exemplary Betting Apps in Nigeria

While some athletes showcase their versatile talents outside of stadiums and arenas, others continue their careers in sports. In doing so, they enable punters to watch their stunning performances and make outcome predictions with bets.

Mobile betting in Nigeria is on the rise. Most bookmaking companies in the region offer free applications that take up little space on your phone, download quickly and securely, and offer gambling anytime. The apps that champion the national market include:

  • 1xBet;
  • Bet9ja;
  • BetWinner;
  • MelBet;
  • Betway;
  • 22Bet;
  • Parimatch.

Final Words

For an athlete, retirement can be a difficult time. However, this milestone marks the beginning of a new story. There are ample real-life examples when, after leaving sports, athletes didn’t fall off the radar but became even more sought-after, successful, and happy. 

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