Slovenia’s Alpine skiing great tells us how she’s managing the transition to life after sport following her retirement in January 2017
Tina Maze was revered for charging down icy mountain slopes with a fierce intensity.
Now, the 34-year-old Slovenian ski racer – who competed in four Olympic Winter Games, winning four medals – has retired from competition, and is embracing post-competition life.
Staying involved with skiing
As the most decorated Slovenian winter Olympian in history, Maze is exploring a varied array of pursuits after her illustrious racing career, but despite retirement she plans to remain close to her sport for at least a few more years.
“After 17 years on the Alpine skiing World Cup tour, I believed that it was time to say that I am happy with what I have achieved and I don’t feel the need to compete on such a high ‘all-rounder’ level anymore,” Maze said.
“Having said that, I know I can still ski really well and I will stay in Alpine skiing to share my knowledge to develop materials with sponsors and help younger racers,” she added.
Commentating for TV, writing an autobiography and producing a portrayal of the story of her tight-knit racing team Team to aMaze are among other post-racing projects. The Slovenian star also continues to collaborate with her numerous sponsors, so she hasn’t had to say goodbye to her sport completely – far from it, in fact.
‘You need to have goals’
The multi-talented Maze believes it is important for an athlete to know what he or she wants to do after retirement from sport.
“Doing sport at such a high level for 14 years can block you from studying, can block you from life and can block your organising skills,” she admits. “When you are 33, you don’t know many things except what you have already done, and that’s the hard part.
“You need to have goals, you need to test yourself in other things and they are not easy years. Now I am getting used to it, but it takes some time.”
Sharing skills while they’re fresh
Another off-mountain accomplishment that Maze is highly proud of is graduating with an elementary school teaching degree from the University of Maribor. Might teaching be in her distant future?
“I love kids and I would love to do that, but you need skills and right now I still want to use my skills from skiing to share with the younger ones,” she explains. “I would like to share as much as I can now because it is still fresh to me.”
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