30-Year-Old Balances 9-to-5 Job With Olympic Swimming Side Hustle: The majority of Nic Fink’s work is rather straightforward: He works as an engineer for a utilities company in Atlanta.
His secondary business is a bit more surprising. Fink practices as an Olympian in his free time.
The American swimmer, 30, took part in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and placed sixth in the 200-meter breaststroke. At the U.S. Championships last week, he won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke and said in a post-heat interview that he was competing while “on call” at his engineering job.
“My co-workers, in and out of the pool, are really great with my schedule. Flexibility in schedules for meetings and practice times have allowed me to be involved in both,” Fink affirmed.
Fink has been employed by Quanta Utility Engineering Services since March as an assistant project manager. He claims that his coworkers find his double life to be highly fascinating.
“At best, they are super supportive of my career in the pool,” Fink said. “And at worst, they are envious of my hours, especially when I have to leave early for afternoon workouts — but not envious of the reason for my hours.”
Melanie Margalis, Fink’s wife and a Team USA swimmer, assists him. In order to have food ready for “the pool or office,” the pair spends Sundays meal-prepping for the upcoming week.
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He also makes money from his side job. According to the news source Swim Swam, Fink received $47,500 for his performance in the Short Course World Championships in December. His sponsor is TYR, a clothing brand that also works with Olympians like Michael Andrew and Katie Ledecky.
Fink is hardly the first famous athlete to hold a regular day job. Olympic athletes who practice law include Canadian runner Lanni Marchant, an Olympic clay target shooter from Australia named Paul Adams, and French windsurfer Pierre le Coq, a dentist.
However, juggling a full-time work and a side hustle is difficult, especially if the side hustle involves professional athletic competition. According to Marchant, who spoke with the Olympics’ Athlete 365 blog, she does it because she knows her athletic career will someday come to an end, and she wants to have a safety net.
“There’s a time limit on being able to run at this level, and I’m well aware of that,” says Marchant. “I really want to keep practicing law because that’s what I’m educated in, and I’ll need something to keep me busy for when I retire.”
Fink uses a similar justification. Because his “career in the pool is beginning to wind down” and he’s “eager to accept a new challenge,” according to his LinkedIn page, he obtained a Master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering.
Of course, Fink’s swimming days are not yet behind him. He claims that, perhaps unintentionally, having a full-time work and competing on the side brings balance to his life.
“I think it’s important to keep your mind out of the pool when you are away from the pool,” Fink advises. “I think for some, that makes for a great balance and only improves in-water performance.”
That implies that he will carry on living a double life as an Olympian engineer for the time being. He continues that he is appreciative that his place of employment allows him the freedom to do so.
They’re incredibly accommodating, so I can fit everything in while still doing what I can in the pool. Following his victory last week, he issued a statement in which he expressed his gratitude for their permission to carry it out.
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