Mogul skier Dale Begg-Smith didn't match the gold medal he won in Turin in 2006, but instead won a silver medal at the Vancouver games. Yet Begg-Smith still has the gold, and all of it is sitting in his bank account, because he was smart enough to think about how he would provide for himself well after his Olympic glory days had faded.
As a young teenager growing up in Vancouver, Begg-Smith was also an Internet prodigy and he went on to launch several Internet advertising companies that have been successful enough to secure his financial future. He left Canada for Australia because the Australian ski team was willing to accommodate his dual needs as a businessman and an Olympic hopeful.
Professional athletes know their careers are generally short-lived. Some are able to create an encore career through endorsements, sportscasting, and coaching. Others slip into obscurity without a nest-egg or a plan for what they will do after their sports career ends.
In my opinion, Begg-Smith was wise to keep his options open and look past a career in sports. I wonder if the Canadian team sees this now. If they had supported Begg-Smith's dream to nurture his second career, there would have been two Canadian flags waving at the medals ceremony instead of one.