Public 2004 income and tax returns for successful Norwegian skiers and coaches shows very modest income for even World Champions. The records show however that some retired stars have been financially successful. Here what they did differently.
Source: Langrenn.com — Edited and translated and by Torbjorn Karlsen
The 2004 Norwegian income and tax records show modest incomes for national team cross country skiers. Only Tore Ruud Hofstad, Frode Estil, Tor Arne Hetland and Vibeke Skofterud made more than US $31,000 last year.
Note that training stipends of roughly $7,500 to $15,000 are not counted as income. World Champions and World Cup winner Marit Bjorgun and Tor Arne Hetland and World Champion Frode Estil obliviously made a lot more money last season than what their 2004 records indicates, but the 2004-2005 bonuses, winnings and others will show on the 2005 records.
Some Income numbers:
Frode Estil $47,000
Tore Ruud Hofstad $35,000
Vibeke Skofterud $33,000
Tor Arne Hetland $37,000
Anders Aukland $18,000
Kristin Stormer Steira $2,000
Hilde Gjermundshaug $28,000
Espen Harald Bjerke $0
Kine Beate Bjornaas $6.400
Coaches’ salaries for elite team coaches varied between $51,000 and $73,000
Successful old stars
Records show however that some Olympic and World Champions from the past have done fairly well for themselves. Vegard Ulvang, Bjorn Daehlie and Bente Skari are 1st, 2nd and 4th on the 2004 income and personal fortune list over past and current sport celebrities. Professional Norwegian athletes like soccer player living in other countries are not included.
Vegard Ulvang: 2004 income US $2.7 million, personal fortune $4.7 million
Bjorn Daehlie: 2004 income US $1.3 million, personal fortune $9 million
Bente Skari: 2004 income US $1.24 million, personal fortune $3.56 million
Real estate holdings, value of business ownerships and other are not included.
How did they do it?
In short it looks they had good contracts that paid them well when they skied fast. They endorsed a number of product and services, were involved with TV-shows and did motivational talks and appearances at a wide variety of events.
Vegard Ulvang also became at the height of his carrier one of the owners in a very successful wool sock company. The company was recently sold.
Bjorn Daehlie also became an owner in clothing company that was later sold to a much bigger company. That paid very well. Daehlie has also invested in several real estate projects.
Both clothing companies utilized their exceptionally positive image and name recognition.
What’s to learn for ambitious skiers?
As in all sports, very few succeed at the highest level. Succeeding doesn’t necessarily pay off in dollars and cents. It’s a great ride trying your hardest to become as good as possible. Give it your best, but get an education or learn a trade that you can utilize when your time as an elite athlete is over.
FasterSkier.com is looking forward to write about your success , then write history and become our first investor.