Olympic Families Go Through Bankruptcy, Too

It’s easy to think of Olympic athletes as being somehow superhuman. In reality, though, most of them face the same struggles as the rest of us. Financial problems and unbearable debt are no exception.

Recently, the families of two Olympians have publicly discussed their struggles with financial distress.

When asked by reporters about her recent bankruptcy filing, Natalie Hawkins – the mother of gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas – responded by saying “I’m not even embarrassed.”

Nor should she be. According to her bankruptcy filings, Hawkins is raising four children on an income of about $30,000. There’s no indication that she engaged in a lot of reckless spending; it’s just that the economy has been hard on families like hers. She says she thought filing for bankruptcy would be the best way to keep her house.

Hawkins isn’t the only Olympic parent facing financial troubles. The New York Times has reported that swimmer Ryan Lochte’s parents are in arrears on their home. They stopped paying the mortgage last year and are now being sued by the mortgage holder.

There is little evidence that either Hawkins’ or the Lochtes’ financial troubles were caused by the expenses related to their children’s Olympic training. Instead, they were caused by the same things that put so many New Jersey families in financial trouble: health problems, divorce, unemployment and mortgage difficulties. In fact, these factors account for far more bankruptcies than overspending does. In such an unstable economy, many families are forced to live with the knowledge that they could be just a couple missed paychecks or one big medical bill away from bankruptcy.

Source: The New York Times, “Olympic Bankruptcies for Ordinary Families,” Helaine Olen, August 8, 2012.

To learn more about your bankruptcy options, please visit our Bankruptcy FAQ page.

Related Posts: Fees for payday loans reaching into the billions around the US, Unpaid workers affected by furlough may be considering bankruptcy, New Jersey residents not feeling great about medical debt, Avoid overspending by avoiding these situations

We are here to help you.

Is this a New Jersey matter or Philadelphia Region matter?
We are licensed to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Attorney Joel R. Spivack is an experienced bankruptcy and residential real estate transactions lawyer in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Clients come to us for legal services, but what we really provide is peace of mind. For more than 30 years, Attorney Spivack has helped people make wise, informed decisions about bankruptcy filings, debt relief options and residential real estate transactions.
Skip to content