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

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Ever think about trying out for the U.S. Bobsled team?It wasn’t the craziest idea that Valdes, at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds of almost all muscle, had ever heard, outside of the fact he grew up in Newport Beach, California, and knew absolutely nothing about the sport.Less than two years after graduating, Valdes not only made the squad, but his two-man team placed fifth at the World Championships in 2015.

Three years later, he was one of the team’s two crewmen, or pushers, at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. From spending virtually every day of his upbringing at the beach, he’d gone to racing down a sheet of ice at almost 100 miles per hour with the world watching.After taking a few years to embark upon what has already become a thriving career as a financial adviser, the athletic juices pulled him back for what Valdes says will be his swan song in February 2021’s Winter Games in Beijing.“This will definitely be it,” says Valdes, who will turn 32 during the event. “The emotion, I know it’s going to hit me when the time comes, going to end a lot of years of training and competing, just a huge chapter of my life.“I was on and off about trying for the 2022 team, keeping my foot in the door with races here and there.

When COVID hit, it became more clear to me that I wanted to try a full-time comeback.”Obviously, that wasn’t the easiest time to start a training program, but fortunately one of his friends in Newport Beach offered his home gym, and soon enough, Valdes returned to Lake Placid, New York, to resume training with the national team.There is no comparison in athletics to training on a national team for the Olympics.

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