Controlling your energy

The two-time Olympic Alpine skiing champion participated in an exclusive webinar with the Athlete365 community, and gave us advice on staying focused during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring you do just enough physical and mental training to return at a high level when the time is right 

  • Aksel Lund Svindal is a two-time Olympic champion and one of the world’s most successful Alpine skiers.  
  • On 25 May he took part in an exclusive webinar with the Athlete365 community, where he gave advice on staying focused during this period of uncertainty and adapting your training so that you can come back strong.  
  • Don’t miss the next webinar in our series, which will see sports psychiatrist Dr Claudia Reardon address the subject of mental health, on Tuesday 16 June.   

Our exciting new webinar series kicked off on 12 May with Eliud Kipchogethe Kenyan Olympic marathon champion who encouraged us to be patient and live in a positive way through these uncertain times. This excellent introduction was followed on 25 May by an audience with Aksel Lund Svindal, the Norwegian Alpine skiing legend and double Olympic champion 

The webinar was again moderated by Olympian and broadcaster Jeanette Kwakye, as Aksel explained what he has been up to since retiring in 2019and drew parallels between the current situation and his many injury-enforced breaks from skiing. He also discussed the main things he has learned since adapting to his new reality during the pandemic from his home in Oslo.  

To be honest, it’s actually something healthy for me, and something that I should have done no matter what – it’s that you don’t have to travel around to meet up with everyone, everywhere,” he said.  

Of course we need to travel once in a while, and we need to do a lot of physical meetings as well, but it’s better to do fewer things – and do them really well – than to have a meeting just to have a meeting, or to travel somewhere just because it might be a missed opportunity. 

Transitioning from sport to business 

Aksel revealed that he has been keeping extremely busy since hanging up his skis after last year’s World Championships, taking on a handful of entrepreneurial initiatives – but that the key was starting early.  

“I started different projects even way before I retired, and I met people with good values, good experience and a network that I didn’t have,” he explained to Jeanette and the global athlete community. “And that for me was the key: when I did retire, I had more than enough to focus on. That investment is worth it, because then you hit the ground running when you do retire. 

Aksel also gave some insight into the skills that he has taken from elite sport into business. 

“For me, it’s a lot of the same principles as in sport,” he said. “When you think about your career, you think about a few key people who helped you – coaches, older athletes – and I definitely look for the same things in business or other projects. 

“I had no deep knowledge about any subject other than skiing, but I think I know a lot about how to make a team work, and about what type of individuals can really drive a group of high performers.” 

Advice for athletes 

Aksel also had some useful advice for athletes dealing with the current uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, comparing the situation to the numerous injuries and rehabs he went through during what were supposed to be the peak years of his career.  

Because I had a lot of injuries, that’s one of the lessons that I learned: how to control that fire inside of really wanting to compete,” he explained. 

You have to take down that inner energy but still keep it alive so that, when you come back, you’re ready to get back on a high level.   

Don’t miss the next webinar in our series, which will see sports psychiatrist Dr Claudia Reardon address the subject of mental health, on Tuesday 16 June.