Ep.018 Athlete Story Podcast

Starting your own nonprofit after sports - Athlete Story ft Berit Nielsen Legrand

I want to introduce you to a series of athletes who are making an impact after sport. We’ll start by meeting Taekwondo champion Marlene Harnois. After ending her sports career in a bit of drama – ranked no. 1 in the world, she decided to go to Africa. We met in person at International University of Monaco for this chat.

After winning the Olympic bronze medal, Marlene Harnois found herself deselected from the French team even though she was still ranked top of the world. She tried to see how she could keep competing but when the leadership got dirty and personal, she decided to retire.

This time was hard on Marlene. But what do champions do? They move on. And so did she, as you’ll hear in this chat about retirement, and creating new opportunities for yourself by giving first.

« We know that the ocean is polluted.We dont need 5 million other people out there researching, going on boats, asking for funding for the next three years because you wanna study the ocean.... We know plastic is killing our Earth... We know all these things.... There's no need to study anything anymore. Just get on with it and find sollutions ! »

You can also watch a video version of this interview here.

READ the transcript of full interview by clicking here.

Marlene Harnois - making an impact after sport


Marlene Harnois portrait - making an impact after sport

About going to the Ivory Coast to make an impact after her sports career:

«It’s not the mats that I brought – or the equipment – that made a difference. What made a difference, I think, was that I believed in them, and supported them and cheered for them.»

Marlene Harnois

About our guest

Marlene Harnois is an inspiring woman. After a brillant sports career, she packed her bags and went to the Ivory Coast to share her skills and experience with kids in local clubs. Four years later she could celebrate Olympic medals with two of her prodigies. She is also involved in the nonprofit Peace & Sport where she created a project called the Caravan For Peace. Currently she’s doing an MBA, fueled by her desire to have purpose and happiness in life.