The Explainer: Living the dream … with proper protection

If you're picking a venue, opt for an American court if you can.

Dear Explainer,
Last week I was really excited to learn that I will be spending at least the next year living and racing in Italy. For me, it’s a dream come true, since not only will I be competing in Europe — which has always been a fantasy for me — I will actually be getting paid to do so.

Since getting the offer, however, I have started to think about the potential problems I might encounter along the way.

For one thing, I would really appreciate it if you could review my contract before I sign it. I was a biology major in college and, frankly, all of that legal mumbo-jumbo makes my eyes glaze over. What’s worse, the original is in Italian, although there is an attached version in English. The weird thing is that the attachment looks like a version of your old machine-translation poem, “We were fought by men, very fast.” Can you have a look at it and suggest what I can do?

What if the team flakes out, the job doesn’t work out or they just don’t live up to the contract? Do I have legal options? I sure don’t want to be stranded over there.

Also, do I need a special work permit or visa to work as a bike racer in a foreign country?

What about taxes? Do I have to pay U.S. taxes on income earned overseas?

Because this is not a done deal, I would prefer not to use my real name, so I will just sign off as …
― Anita

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