U.S. Olympians Describe The Success Factors And Obstacles

That Most Influenced Their Olympic Development

Phase II:  Results Of The Talent Identification & Development Questionnaire To U.S. Olympians

Community Outreach, Coaching & Sports Sciences Divisions


By: Tim Gibbons, M.S (Consultant to the USOC),

Alicia McConnell and Tammie Forster

(USOC- Community Outreach Division),

Suzie Tuffey Riewald, Ph.D. and Kirsten Peterson, Ph.D.

(USOC- Coaching and Sport Sciences Division)


“Finally, U.S. Olympians reported that a lack of financial support was the number one obstacle to overcome and reported having financial support as one of the Top 10 factors of success.”


“They experienced the greatest financial hardships at the national and international competitive phases. This suggests that as the performance level of Olympians improved the demand for more financial support also grew.” 

In 1972, Title IX was established to provide equal opportunities for girls and women in high school and college athletics. However, competition opportunities and purse monies for women professional golfers have lagged the advances made by men.


1.    Dedication and persistence

2.   Support of family and friends

3.   Excellent coaches

4.   Love of sport

5.   Excellent training programs & facilities

6.   Natural talent

7.   Competitiveness

8.   Focus

9.   Worth ethic

10. Financial support

TOP 10 obstacles


1.    Lack of financial support

2.   Conflict with role in life

3.   Lack of coaching expertise or support

4.   Lack of support from USOC and NGB

5.   Mental obstacles

6.   Lack of training / competition opportunities

7.   Medical problems

8.   Lack of social support

9.   Physical limitations

10. Failure

Myra Blackwelder

AGT Management Association

President & Founder


Mallory Blackwelder Trudeau

Marketing, Social Media &

Event Management Associate


Biggs Tabler

Media & National Sales Associate