The career of a professional athlete is relatively short. Most athletes, even the most talented, are retired by the young age of 40. Many athletes are retired by age 30 due to injuries and other issues that can impact a career. And life for many athletes after retirement is uncertain and even disappointing. Various studies have found that as many as half of all professional athletes are broke within five years of retiring from professional sports. However, it is not all doom and gloom. Some athletes have gone on to greater success after leaving their chosen sport. Here we look at 10 athletes who were more successful after they retired.
10. Mario Lemieux
Known to fans as “Super Mario,” Lemieux is widely regarded as one of the top five hockey players to ever lace-up a pair of skates. He also has the distinction of being the only person to win the Stanley Cup trophy as both a hockey player and a professional hockey team owner. Mario Lemieux won back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992. He then won a third Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 as owner of the team. In fact, since retiring as a hockey player in 2006, Mario Lemieux has built a career as perhaps the most successful athlete turned owner in sports history. He is credited with saving the Pittsburgh Penguins from bankruptcy in 1999, and has worked to keep the NHL team in Pittsburgh despite several attempts to move the franchise to another city. Mario Lemieux also overcame cancer in the form of Hodgkins Lymphoma and has established a foundation in his name that funds promising new medical research projects. Not too shabby.