Olympians across the globe have been given the opportunity to have the letters O-L-Y after their names.

The World Olympians Association launched the initiative in November to help Olympic athletes adjust to life after the Games.

Chair of the New Zealand Olympic Committee Olympians Commission, Chantal Brunner, said the O-L-Y "was set up to allow Olympians, particularly those who are recently retired, to differentiate themselves in the job market".

"A lot of people come out of the Olympics without having any formal education or qualifications," she said.

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Chantal Brunner of the New Zealand Olympic Committee Olympians Commission. Photo / Getty
Chantal Brunner of the New Zealand Olympic Committee Olympians Commission. Photo / Getty

"As an Olympic athlete you've got time management skills, you've got organisational skills and generally you can work in a team. So those are all things that the O-L-Y is kind of bundling up … it's an indicator of all of those skills that you developed in sport that are equally transferable into a work environment."

"It is a signifier of all the work, and the dedication, and the skills that you've pickled up in the years that you've been a professional athlete."

Brunner said that nearly 150 Kiwi Olympians have already applied for the title.

Olympians of all ages can apply, however, the O-L-Y title will not be offered to Paralympic athletes or Youth Olympians.