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Is This the Best Job at the Olympics?

Topics: Career Profiles
JD Hancock/Unsplash

Getting to the Olympics is expensive, whether you’re a professional athlete ($35,000-plus per year to train for figure skating, among the priciest sports) or a spectator (upwards of $4,000 for airfare, hotel and admission to the games). But there is another option: you could always work there.

OK, even that is probably a long shot if you’re not based locally. But the Olympics typically boost hiring in their host cities by thousands of jobs. According to a factsheet on the 2012 London Olympics, 46,000 people worked on building the Olympic Park and Olympic Village.

Of course, some jobs are cooler than others. Slate’s been tallying a few as the games progress. A recent one for consideration: figure skating stuffed animal wrangler.

Wait, what? That’s right. For whatever reason, figure skating fans at these games seem to like to hurl stuffed animals down on the ice. Fans of Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu are particularly fond of throwing Winnie the Pooh bears.

At Slate, Justin Peters explains:

As the figure skating stuffed animal wrangler, you will skate onto the ice to retrieve the gifts thrown by fans after skaters conclude their routines. In Pyeongchang, you will be required to collect innumerable Winnie the Pooh dolls hurled by fans of gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Those Poohs have no place on the ice! This problem is easily solved by you, the figure skating stuffed animal wranger. You skate into the rink, wrangle those Poohs with speed and grace, and then deposit them into a huge, landfill-esque pile. This large-scale Pooh deposit will also be made with speed and grace.


You won’t be required to do any quadruple axles in this job, but you will need to be able to skate … and pretty quickly, too. Those Pooh-bears can really mount up. You should also be comfortable appearing on camera and be able to work as part of a team.

How Much Does It Pay?

Unknown, but we’d guess that it’s one of those jobs you do “for the exposure.” Also, the stuffed animal wrangler corps seems to be entirely composed of children, which doesn’t bode well for your paycheck (or dignity, if you were to try to talk your way into the role). Yeah, we’re going to say that it’s probably a volunteer gig.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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