Thomas Becker

How the ski ace feels after his professional career

Felix Neureuther - The jack-of-all-trades is coming to the ISPO Munich 2020

His career as a ski racer is over, and yet the face of Felix Neureuther is as present as ever. The once best German skier is just about to turn into a businessman, and this on several fields at once. Neureuther is also a guest at the ISPO Munich 2020.

Felix Neureuther is the new face of Jack Wolfskin.
Felix Neureuther will be at the ISPO Munich 2020.

The plan was actually clear: stop racing to have more time for the family.

If you ask his wife Miriam whether she sees her Felix more often now than before, she shakes her head and says: "No, rather even less. The second child of the couple from Garmisch-Partenkirchen is on the way. Nevertheless  the Germany's former best skier is on the move more than ever before - as a businessman and the immensely popular ex-athlete Neureuther.

He is no different from his parents, who can still be seen today, almost 40 years after the end of his career, in the talk shows and games of the TV republic.

Felix Neureuther is guest at the ISPO Munich 2020! On Monday, 27 January, he will be at the tradeshow from 2 p.m. on when the new, expanded product portfolio and the new brand strategy of ABS will be presented in Hall 4, Stand 204. Be there and see the latest trends in the sports industry under the motto Be creative. Be responsible. Be active.

Close connection with ABS CEO Stefan Mohr

On March 16, 2019 Neureuther junior announced the end of his athletic career in a moving video with almost 35 and after 13 World Cup victories, once silver and twice bronze at the World Championships and after a German downhill champion title (2009). It was already clear to him a long time ago that he wanted to remain professionally connected with the sport: "Skiing was my life and will remain so in the future. That's why I don't say goodbye, but see you soon.

A year earlier, he had already invested in the avalanche airbag manufacturer ABS. Already grandfather Gottfried, who worked as a doctor for the mountain rescue service in Garmisch more than 30 years ago, had been involved in the development of the first avalanche airbag. Neureuther told: "The subject of safety is very close to my heart. I would like to expand the existing product portfolio and actively participate in product development. After all, for me as a partner, it is now also a matter of the economic success of the company.

The parties have agreed not to disclose the amount of his stake in the company. The path to business life was a rather short one: The CEO of ABS is Stefan Mohr and is practically a member of the family. His uncle Heinz is Neureuther's godfather, was coach of the German national ski team, managed the Federal Performance Centre Alpine in Garmisch for more than 20 years and was race director at the World Ski Championships 2011.

At the Freeride Film Festival, Neureuther recently teased on stage with his CEO that as an outsider you would never in your life think that these are business men.

Testimonial for Jack Wolfskin, author and ambassador

But ABS is only one of many fields of activity. Felix Neureuther had already written a book about the brain training program Life Kinetics in 2009. In 2017 he published, a fun children's book with the sporty adventures of Ixi, Basti, Mimi and Marcello the stag will follow every year - the next book is already in the works for 2020.

Neureuther has been an ambassador for the "Sport im Hort" movement for ten years, the ski camps of the "Felix Neureuther Ski Academy" have been in existence since 2012 and since 2014 he has been an ambassador for "fit4future" as well as the "Beweg dich schlau!" project, for which he collected donations at several "Felix & Friends for Kids" galas at the Vierjahreszeiten Hotel in Munich.

As a testimonial, he has recently been on the road for the outdoor company Jack Wolfskin and for the e-bikes of the Bosch company as well as for his equipment suppliers from the active skiing era - after all, he is still in front of the TV camera as a TV expert for the ARD at some ski World Cup races, as the successor of his former classmate Maria Höfl-Riesch.

Partners at ABS Protection: Managing Director Stefan Mohr (left) and investor Felix Neureuther.
Stefan Mohr and Felix Neureuther posing with ABS avalanche backpacks

Neureuther on German TV

In addition, there were and are countless German TV appearances, from the  "KiKA LIVE Advent Show" to the RTL annual review. He can also give a laudatory speech: At Marcel Hirscher's award for Sportsman of the Year in Austria he touched his eternal competitor buddy with the words: "It doesn't matter how many medals or races I would have won without you. Without you, it would have been worth half as much."

Meanwhile, Marcel Hirscher takes time for his family after his career is over: 104 days after his resignation, the Salzburg native recently appeared again for the first time and said a few sentences: "I hardly need the mobile phone any more. Or, "I don't have any skis at home."

Office job? "I couldn't do that"

Felix Neureuther, on the other hand, describes his new life as follows: "It is definitely different, much less thrilling, but all the more beautiful private moments. I'm sure we never get bored at home. I am looking forward to the time at home, even though I will miss the boys very much. What I don't miss in my life today is the travelling and the tight ski boots."

However, he cannot imagine taking on a job in the office at all: "I couldn't do that. I would perish there." It won't come to that.

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Thomas Becker