FOR most of us, resuming normal life after the Olympic was as awkward as changing channels on the television set.
But after years of preparation and tunnel-vision focus, the readjustment process was not as straightforward for many who took part in China.
Great Britain hockey star Chloe Rogers has been back for almost three months.
She said: “I really struggled when I came back. I was pretty down, not depressed, but it was like: ‘What do I do now? Where do I go from here?
“I’ve known Beijing was coming for the past three or four years and the last year has been all about the Olympics. Now I can’t believe it’s over. It went so quickly.”
“I’ve got London to work towards, but that is such a long way away and it’s hard to get going again.”
Rogers enjoyed a brief lift when when she took part in the Olympic parade through London and met the Queen at Buckingham Palace – “I will never experience anything like that again in my lifetime,” – but reality has since bitten.
As part of the English and British squad, Rogers receives annual Lottery funding through Sport England.
It covers expenses but is not enough to live on and many of her team-mates also hold down full-time jobs. Rogers herself worked for Reed Recruitment before taking two-months unpaid leave around the Olympics.
The High Wycombe company kept her position open for her, but the 23-year-old with a degree in Sports Management from Bucks New University has used the time off to take stock and does not see her long-term future in recruitment.
Like many of her peers though, she is finding that elite sport and a career make difficult juggling.
She said: “I’ve never really had a chance to think about my career. I came out of university and went straight into hockey.
“Reed was the first job that was flexible enough to fit around it and I must really thank for that, but I want to do something in sports development.
“I went for an interview a few weeks ago and the first question they asked was how I was going to fit the job around my hockey.”
Rogers is currently working part-time for England Hockey at Loughborough, but if she has to enter the job market for real in four years time she will be a long way behind the game.
She said: “At the moment I’m focussed on London and making the squad then.
“I’ve got another 40 years of working so hopefully the next four years won’t affect that too much and I just have to hope employers understand why I haven’t really worked for the past four years.
“It might be difficult but it’s the sacrifice of being an elite sportsperson and I wouldn’t swap four years of being outside doing what I love for four years in an office.
“I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done or any decision I’ve made.”