Double Olympic moguls champ Alex Bilodeau formally announces retirement
By The Canadian Press, The Globe and mail
Alex Bilodeau laughs when it’s suggested that some people find his chosen profession of accountancy boring.
But it is a little surprising that a two-time Olympic gold medalist who made a career of hurtling down hillsides and flying over ramps would now want to spend his days tallying numbers at a desk.
“It’s not how much fun it is, it’s how much you understand about business,” Bilodeau said Tuesday after formally announcing his retirement from freestyle skiing. “I love business, economics and finance, and accountancy is a great way to understand all of it.
“I’m all about learning now. I’ve always thought in a four-year (cycle) and right now, that’s getting my CPA designation. We’ll see after that.”
Bilodeau, 27, won gold in moguls at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and again in Sochi last February. He chose the downtown office of the KPMG accounting multinational for his announcement.
His father is a partner at the Dutch-based firm and Bilodeau has a deal to be its ambassador, recruiting talent from across Canada, until 2017. That’s when he is due to have finished his studies at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business and become a certified professional accountant.
Bilodeau was being courted by several universities but opted for Concordia when Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson invited him to visit the school and meet the dean.
The university agreed to allow him a flexible schedule to fit in his training, competitions and other interests.
Even without competition, Bilodeau has a full schedule.
An old joke is that an extrovert accountant is one who looks at your shoes instead of his own when he’s talking, but Bilodeau is nothing like that stereotype, even in the conservative dark suit and understated tie he wore to the office.
The skier who carried on the winning tradition in the event started by Jean-Luc Brassard now hands off the task of keeping Canada on top to 22-year-old Kingsbury, who is already a three-time moguls and overall World Cup champion.
“I really hope the others will continue to push Mikael, he needs a challenge,” said Bilodeau. “He needs to push the sport up to the next Olympics.
“I hope he has new things to innovate. We don’t want our sport to stagnate.”