WHEN they’re competing at the highest level, professional athletes live in a vacuum — focused on one thing and one thing only.
In Matt Shirvington’s case it was running, and running fast.
But what happens when the structure is gone?
Some athletes find the transition easy, making a successful move into business, TV or motivational speaking. Others are not so lucky.
Grant Hackett’s very public meltdown is an example of what happens when it all goes wrong. Shirvington is an example of getting it right.
Shirvington, who was at one time the fastest white man on the planet, managed to turn a stint on the first season of Dancing With the Stars into a successful broadcasting career.
‘‘ I had to pull out of Athens (Olympics) because I had glandular fever — had to rest,’’ Shirvington says.