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Boyz II Men or Lost Boys?

I’d been thinking about those young kids at the Beijing sports academy I photographed in August.

What do you do after you grow up and there aren’t any more medals to strive for?

Well, one answer is to perform at the Beijing Chaoyang Theater Acrobatics Show.

That’s where The General and I found ourselves Tuesday night, surrounded by foreigners, everyone of us overtly ignoring the “Please, no photos during the performance” mantra on the speakers.

(“Like that’d stop a Ford Fairlane!”)

One of the things that stuck with me while shooting Stars on Ice a few months ago in PDX was this idea of former Olympians now just like the rest of us: needing a day job.

In some ways, I was happy for them, that those skaters were able to find a way to perform their craft and make a living.

Another part of me was sad because skating for Schmuckers seemed like a sick reward after years of training and dedication. Is there no higher reward?

And what about when they’re past their prime, washed up and forced into retirement – at 27.

(These final photos sponsored by the flavors Grape, Blueberry, Strawberry, Apple and, of course, Mandarin Orange.)

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