Remember the days when top skier’s career choices after retirement from big sport were largely consisting of two options: becoming a trainer or becoming a sport commentator on TV?
Well, this is 2017 and there is not just more money in sport – more importantly, there are more ways to turn a hard earned fame into a rest-of-the-life career.
You still can think of television, of course – except that now you have every right to think big. If you’re Petter Northug , that is, and you launched and successfully operate the whole budding media empire revolving around ( but not limited to) yourself.
This days & age, it pays not just to ride the wave – but to be the meanest , the baddest rider of them all, right?
Anybody thinks it’s all just fun and games? Well, check how the incumbent Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg goes to be intwerviewed by Mr. Northug Jr himself just days before the elections. Those spindoctors running a campaign, they always know what “the electorate” would REALLY watch.
If the Olympic champ Northug has ascended to interview politicians, the Olympic champ Legkov has decided to become one himself.
The Russian had a hell of the last season when he was suddenly suspended from all FIS competitions pending investigation into doping allegations – but it looks like he anything but gave up.
Not only did he continue training by himself – but campaigned and got elected into the legislative chamber of the Moskovskay Oblast ( the one where Alexander was born and which comprises all the areas around the Russian capital, total population of some 8 million people). Moreover, Legkov became a local leader of the Youth Army, that Russian answer to the Boyscouts and is often seen nowadays surrounded by teenagers in crisp khaki uniform.
With that upstart career ( no irony) Legkov somehow finds time for training camps in the mountains – hence his buffed upper-body physique , a pre-requirement for any successful politician these days.
Team Sweden’s leader Charlotte Kalla hasn’t reached thar level of fame yet – but she, perhaps, did her first step. Falla’s first book hit the shelves a couple of weeks ago – and is quickly turned into bestseller.” Strengh, techniqie and moving forward” – the title is self-explanatory and quite befitting the Falun WC 2005 hero.
Altough, perhaps not as so much talked about as the book written last by her former teammate Maria Rydqvist’s that was about gender inequality in pro-sport, a hot-button issue.
So, here we go, the narrow tracks just gave the world a media mogul, a politician and a best-selling author. You’ve got nothing on cross-country skiing, football!