From Olympic Bobsledder to Financial Adviser—Carlo Valdes Knows a Thing or Two About Second Careers

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

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

Ever take into consideration making an attempt 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 Seaside, California, and knew completely nothing in regards to 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 day by day of his upbringing on the seashore, he’d gone to racing down a sheet of ice at virtually 100 miles per hour with the world watching.

After taking just a few years to embark upon what has already change into a thriving profession as a monetary adviser, the athletic juices pulled him again for what Valdes says will likely be his swan tune 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 lots of years of coaching and competing, simply an enormous chapter of my life.

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

Clearly, that wasn’t the best time to begin a coaching program, however thankfully considered one of his pals in Newport Seaside supplied his dwelling health club, and shortly sufficient, Valdes returned to Lake Placid, New York, to renew coaching with the nationwide group.

There isn’t any comparability in athletics to coaching on a nationwide group for the Olympics. At Lake Placid, dwelling to considered one of 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 consists of 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’ve little hassle falling asleep at night time,” 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 similar 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 targets, personally, professionally and financially,” he says. “Doing all this whereas nonetheless competing at an Olympic degree is a giant problem, however it has helped me develop extra as a person and change 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 actually understands the sentiment, he feels assured that his transition will likely be somewhat simpler than most as a result of there is no such thing as a uncertainty in his future.

“I’ve an enormous raise in realizing my future. It’s a aggressive subject with an enormous quantity of labor, and a few aren’t prepared to sacrifice, however athletes attempt in that space. There’s some huge cash to make, which ends up in freedom.” 

This text initially appeared within the March/April 2022 Problem 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.

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