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From Olympic Bobsledder to Monetary Adviser—Carlo Valdes Is aware of a Factor or Two About Second Careers


For Carlo Valdes, it’s not a lot whether or not he’ll achieve success. That’s turn into understood, an absolute actually. It’s only a matter of what his subsequent problem shall be.

First, he landed a soccer scholarship to UCLA earlier than later becoming a member of the observe and area group and reaching NCAA regionals 3 times. After graduating with a historical past diploma, the plan was to work in actual property or perhaps gross sales. That was earlier than his coach, Mike Maynard, and a teammate made a life-changing suggestion.

Ever take into consideration attempting out for the U.S. Bobsled group?

It wasn’t the craziest concept that Valdes, at 6-foot-2 and 220 kilos of virtually all muscle, had ever heard, outdoors of the very fact he grew up in Newport Seashore, California, and knew completely nothing concerning the sport.

Lower than two years after graduating, Valdes not solely made the squad, however his two-man group positioned fifth on the World Championships in 2015. Three years later, he was one of many group’s two crewmen, or pushers, on the Winter Olympics in South Korea. From spending nearly daily of his upbringing on the seashore, he’d gone to racing down a sheet of ice at nearly 100 miles per hour with the world watching.

After taking just a few years to embark upon what has already turn into a thriving profession as a monetary adviser, the athletic juices pulled him again for what Valdes says shall be his swan music in February 2021’s Winter Video games in Beijing.

“It will undoubtedly be it,” says Valdes, who will flip 32 in the course of the occasion. “The emotion, I do know it’s going to hit me when the time comes, going to finish quite a lot of years of coaching and competing, simply an enormous chapter of my life.

“I used to be on and off about attempting for the 2022 group, conserving my foot within the door with races right here and there. When COVID hit, it grew to become extra clear to me that I wished to attempt a full-time comeback.”

Clearly, that wasn’t the simplest time to start out a coaching program, however happily one in all his mates in Newport Seashore provided his house health club, and shortly sufficient, Valdes returned to Lake Placid, New York, to renew coaching with the nationwide group.

There is no such thing as a comparability in athletics to coaching on a nationwide group for the Olympics. At Lake Placid, house to one in all solely two ice homes for bobsledding in North America together with Calgary, the extreme coaching routine is 5 days every week from 7 a.m. to eight p.m., Thursdays and Sundays off. A typical day contains dash exercises down the observe, three hours within the weight room and extra stretching than a yoga teacher.

“It’s a full-time job and we have now little bother falling asleep at evening,” Valdes says. “I keep in mind the primary time I heard ice home, I used to be like, is {that a} beer place? The place precisely are we going?

“Solely a choose few of these coaching obtain a stipend, too, so most of us are working remotely on the identical time.”

That has been the distinction for Valdes between his earlier coaching and his preparation for the 2022 Olympics. He not solely has one other job, he has a profession. After 18 months at Northwestern Mutual, studying the monetary craft and jargon, he desired extra freedom. So, he opened his personal workplace as a part of the Miliare Group.

“Simply as in athletics, I assist my shoppers create a recreation plan that helps them attain their objectives, personally, professionally and financially,” he says. “Doing all this whereas nonetheless competing at an Olympic stage is a giant problem, but it surely has helped me develop extra as a person and turn into very intentional with the actions I make.”

They are saying athletes die twice, the primary time being when their taking part in careers finish. Though Valdes definitely understands the sentiment, he feels assured that his transition shall be somewhat simpler than most as a result of there isn’t any uncertainty in his future.

“I’ve an enormous elevate in realizing my future. It’s a aggressive area with an enormous quantity of labor, and a few aren’t keen to sacrifice, however athletes try in that space. There’s some huge cash to make, which results in freedom.” 

This text initially appeared within the March/April 2022 Concern of SUCCESS journal. Images Courtesy of Carlo Valdes.

Jeff Sullivan is the editorial director at Panini America and a columnist for Dallas Cowboys Star Journal. He lives in Arlington, Texas.


Victoria Joy
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