Volleyball Players Can Live Well, at a Distance, While Pursuing Olympic Dreams


credit: The New York Times

With the Rio de Janeiro Olympics still more than two years away, many members of the United States volleyball team are playing for professional teams overseas, according to New York Times.

Elite volleyball players head for locales as distant as Siberia in the winter, allowing them to earn a living while chasing Olympic dreams. For the top players, it can be a comfortable living with salaries in the six figures. For most, indoor pro leagues overseas allow players to continue doing what they love beyond college, make a little money and perhaps aim for a higher level with the ultimate goal of earning one of the 12 spots on the United States Olympic team, according to the New York Times.

According to CNN News, several popular and competitive pro leagues compete abroad, including teams from Russia, Italy, Turkey, Brazil and South Korea. They provide opportunities for the elite pros and players out of college who are not quite ready.

“I always tell people you have to be ready for an adventure and not to have too many expectations,” said Courtney Thompson, who played on the United States women’s team that won the silver medal at the 2012 London Games.

“It’s a lot different than a lot of people think because we have nothing like it in the United States. They train differently, they play differently, the lifestyle is obviously different — which can be really cool, but it can also make it difficult,” according to CNN News.