The impact of athletic achievement on leadership traits of Olympic athletes: A cross gender, age, and cultural study


  • Noemi Zaharia The University of Alabama in Huntsville (USA)


Olympians, Olympic athletes, Leadership, Leadership traits, career transition


Olympic athletes possess exceptional athletic abilities alongside distinctive set of traits and skills that allows them to be outstanding leaders, inspiring others to successfully achieve their set goals (Mak & Kim, 2016). The researcher looked for a correlation between their average leadership trait score and their gender, age, sport, number of Olympic Games participations, and the athletic achievement of winning an Olympic medal. The researcher compared 119 Olympic athletes who competed in 11 individual or team sports, and 20 countries from around the world. By analyzing the 14 leadership characteristics in the Leadership Trait Questionnaire (LTQ) the entire population surveyed had the mean score of 62.48, while medalists scored 61.49 and non-medalist scored 62.70. Based on the results of this study, athletic achievement did not have a significant impact on the leadership traits measured by their individual LTQ scores, while age, gender, sport, and Olympic Games participation offered some differences. These findings should empower the Olympic athletes to transition into life after sports with confidence as they pursue various professions as their leadership characteristics provide an asset for any organization looking for a leader that inspires its followers to achieve their set goals.