2018 Volume 28 Issue 4 Pages 4_295-4_306
Prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the purpose of this research is to investigate Japanese olympians’ causes of career termination depending on the differences between Summer/Winter and male/female olympians. The olympians registered in the Olympians Association of Japan (OAJ) were asked: 1) the lengths of the sport career until first participation in their Olympic games, 2) their ages and the causes of career termination, and 3) the cost of continuing their sport.
Questionnaires were distributed to 965 present, retiring, and retired olympians and 472 retired olympians answered the questions regarding their career termination. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics, analysis of variance and the chi-square test.
Some of the most significant findings were: 1) the average lengths of the sport careers until the first participation in their Olympic games were about 10 years, 2) the causes of career termination showed variation such as: a) Female Summer Olympians (FSOs) tended to retire for psychological reasons—namely, either they had satisfied their objectives or they no longer enjoyed participating in their sport, b) Female Winter Olympians (FWOs) retired because they lacked the money needed to continue, and c) Male Summer & Winter Olympians (MSOs & MWOs) retired because of searching for paid employment, and 3) FWOs required approximately twice the amount of money to continue their sports, compared to the other three categories.
These research findings may provide valuable basic information to develop Japanese career assistance prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Future research directions are also discussed.