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Olympics could be the springboard tobusiness success

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Olympic athletes and senior businesspeople share the same drive, determination and skills make them successful, according a leading executive search consultant.


Stuart Blake, managing director of Bayfield Executive Search and Selection, believes there is a direct correlation between sporting success and business success.  Traits that top companies look for are often the same as those of an Olympian: self-confidence, motivation, dedication, the desire to win and the ability to work as part of a team.


Blake said: “It takes years of dedication, perseverance and ambition to become a senior executive or director so in that sense they are very much like athletes that make the Olympics.  Our current Olympians have dedicated huge amounts of time and effort to make sure they are the best, often making huge sacrifices along the way.”


“This link could explain why a number of top athletes have later enjoyed thriving business careers.”




  1. LORD SEBASTIAN COE (gold medal winner in 1980 and 1984):  A multi-millionaire who owns a string of health clubs.  Coe was an MP before becoming an ambassador and is now chairman of London 2012.
  2. ADRIAN MOOREHOUSE (gold medal winner in 1988):  Managing director ofperformance consultancy Lane 4, which was ranked second in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For.
  3. JON RIDGEON, EDWARD LEASK, ALAN PASCOE: Co-founders of Fast Track sports marketing agency, sold in 2007 to Chime Communications for a reported £43m.
  4. IAN TAYLOR (gold medal winner in 1988): Chief executive ofsportscoltand and CEO of London Irish Holdings.
  5. COLIN JACKSON (silver medal winner in 1988):  A successful broadcaster and founder of multi media production company, Red Shoes Ltd.
  6. SIR MENZIES CAMPBELL (competed in the 1964 Games):  A successful QC,before entering into politics in 1987, rising to the role of leader of the Liberal Democrats.
  7. ROBIN DIXON (gold medal winner in 1964):  Joined Redland Tile and Brick Ltd, which he built into a multi-million pound subsidiary, becoming managing director.  He is now a successful politician. 
  8. BRENDAN FOSTER (gold medal winner in 1974, bronze medal winner in 1976):  Managing director of Nova International and founder of the Great North Run.  
  9. CHRIS BRASHER (gold medal winner in 1956):  Designed the innovative Brasher Boot and founded the London Marathon in 1981.
  10. DUNCAN GOODHEW (gold medal winner in 1980), KRISS AKABUSI (three Olympic medals), SALLY GUNNELL (gold medal winner in 1992): All successful motivational speakers. 


And this success is not confined to British athletes.  Boxing great Oscar De La Hoya, an Olympic gold medallist, turned his hand so successfully to promotion work with GoldenBoy Promotions that he has been described by some as the best businessman in American sport. 


Blake concluded: “The sports stars of the past who have been most successful in business are those who have used what they learnt in training and have stayed in areas they know inside out.   

“Sportsmen like Ian Taylor, Oscar De La Hoya and Jon Ridgeon have all enjoyed phenomenal success in business related to sport, using skills they learnt while in training for the Olympics.”



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