Road To The Olympic Games


Off Guard: Money

Two-time Olympian Perdita Felicien leads CBC Sports' latest podcast: Off Guard. Every week, one unconventional theme is considered three different ways. The seventh episode is available now.

2-time Olympian Perdita Felicien examines unconventional themes in weekly podcast

Two-time Olympian Perdita Felicien leads CBC Sports' latest podcast: Off Guard. (Jason Boychuk/CBC)

Hosted by two-time Olympian Perdita Felicien, Off Guard explores one unconventional theme each week, considered three different ways.

Check out the this week's show:

Athletes' pay cheques

Just in time for tax season, while the nation mutters over T1 General forms, your friends at Off Guard are asking juicy questions about athletes and finances. Tax time is perhaps the only moment each year when we don't envy athletes' pay cheques. 

In this episode, Perdita calls up an old track racing friend, Justin Gatlin, to talk shop. A financially prudent guy, is Justin. In addition to gold, silver, and bronze Olympic 100-metre medals, he has a Florida  garage full of purring machines. Does a career in track pay? Well let's take Gatlin's Jag F-type, Maserati, or Range Rover out for a spin while we mull it over. 

Perdita also gets some pro tips  on watching athletes' money  from Stew Gavin, who got a taste for the biz while he was playing for the Leafs. Watching other players carouse their way through fat stacks of money convinced Stew that advising athletes on their business could be a nice little earner in its own right. Best advice? When you retire from your sport, brace yourself for a plummeting salary.

Jamie Strashin and Perdita chew the fat on a new industry that has sprung up to help teach adults how to get back into playing, instead of just racing from rink to gym with a van full of their own kids. Shlepping junior to the weekly dance and hockey and soccer practices does nothing for mum and dad's fitness … except make them hungry to be back in sports themselves some day. 

Adult sport has mushroomed lately with events like obstacle course racing, tough mudders, triathlons, and distance running attracting surprising numbers. Five million people ran halves in the U.S., last year alone! There's a new generation of adult amateur athletes signing up, and paying out for their curated weekend warrior experiences.

After talk about the latest sport and money trends, it is startling to hear how the finances worked not SO long ago in the NHL. Everybody had summer jobs back in Pete Mahovlich's day. Might have been paving driveways or (like his brother Frank did) — stints in Conn Smythe's gravel pit. Even with their whopping $10,000 and $12,000 contracts in the late 60s, all the pro hockey players had side hustles back then to make ends meet.

This is our last of the pilot Off Guard episodes. We're thinking about how and what we want to do next with these sporting podcasts. 

To listen to the podcast, go to Your ideas are welcomed.

To subscribe and tell us what you think, email us at

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