IBU Athlete Case Studies on Dual Career Opportunities

IBU Athlete Case Studies on Dual Career Opportunities

The International Biathlon Union (IBU) is committed to creating opportunities for athletes to succeed both inside and outside the sport. Our goal is to empower athletes to pursue successful dual careers that combine their passion for biathlon with academic and professional careers. Through our Athlete Case Studies, we aim to inspire and guide our athletes towards fulfilling post-competition careers. To support athletes in this transition, National Federations can apply for the “Athletes' involvement after a sport career” project.

Head Coach Youth and Junior

Selina Gasparin is a well-known name in Swiss biathlon. Selina's most notable achievements in her active career include 2 wins and 2 second places in the World Cup as well as the silver medal in the Individual at the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014.

After retiring from active competition, Selina started working for the Swiss Biathlon Federation as a U18 Talent Developer. Selina was responsible for the implementation of a National Performance Center for young biathletes in a region and the transfer of Swiss-Ski’s strategy and training philosophy to this region. She was also responsible for supporting athletes transitioning from youth (U16) to junior (U18) and for talent selection. Her coaching duties included organizing courses and training sessions, helping to plan and co-organize interregional and national training groups, as well as coordinating regional and national competition planning and organizing races when necessary.

Since February 2024, Selina has been the Head Coach for Young Talents in Switzerland. In her current role, Selina is primarily responsible for administrative and strategic tasks within the youth and junior sector, including selection and projects such as the Athlete Pathway and Talent Scouting. In addition, she occasionally takes on a more hands-on coaching role by leading training sessions.

My role in the federation is now about developing the potential of young athletes and guiding them to their own podium moments. My transition from athlete to coach, coupled with my knowledge and network within the biathlon community, helps me to support the next generation of athletes. – Selina Gasparin

Photo: Gasparin

Finance Professional

Simon Schempp's transition from a successful biathlete to a promising finance professional exemplifies the possibilities within biathlon. With notable achievements, including 4 World Championship titles and 3 Olympic medals, Simon is a perfect example of a well-managed career transition.

In 2021, Simon pursued a new passion in business and finance and began a dual study program in Business Administration with the German Ski Federation and the University of Applied Sciences in Ismaning. In his new role within the Finance Department of the German Ski Federation, Simon is deeply involved in budget monitoring, accounting processes, and strategic financial planning. His responsibilities range from ensuring the financial stability and growth of the federation, providing critical insight into the economic aspects of sports management to clarifying personnel issues. Simon's unique blend of competitive experience and financial knowledge makes him a valuable asset to the federation, where his experience as an elite athlete brings a unique perspective to financial decision-making and project management.

This career change not only reflects Simon’s adaptability and commitment to growth but also provides an inspiring example of the diverse opportunities available to athletes beyond their active career.

Through my dual study program, I have the opportunity to combine theoretical knowledge from university with practical experience in the finance department of the German Ski Federation. My time as a competitive athlete has taught me discipline and perseverance. This, combined with my knowledge of biathlon, has become a valuable strength in my daily work. - Simon Schempp

Photo: IBU

Social Media Coordinator

Anika Kozika, a Croatian biathlete, completed her Master's degree in Analysis and Business Planning at the Faculty of Economics & Business in Zagreb while training and competing as an athlete. After completing her studies, she was hired by the Croatian Biathlon Federation to manage their social media activities.

As part of her dual career, Anika took on the responsibility of modernizing the federation's digital platforms. Anika played a key role in launching and expanding the federation's social media channels. This strategic move not only promotes the sport but also significantly increases its fan base. Her responsibilities include creating engaging content, such as photos and videos, and editing short video clips that provide updates from training camps and competitions, bringing fans closer to the sport. Anika also supports the development of the federation's official website. In addition, she communicates with other media outlets, reports to the Secretary General, and occasionally assists with administrative tasks within the federation.

From 2021-2023, Anika served as an IBU Athlete Ambassador, raising awareness, educating, and supporting the aims of biathlon in the area of sustainability.

This dual career is a great opportunity for my personal growth and professional development. The balance between working for the federation and being an athlete has taught me valuable time management skills. It also allows me to gain practical experience in creating media content. – Anika Kozika

Photo: Kozika


Marcin Szwajnos, a former Polish athlete, began his professional journey in the biathlon family as a seasonal employee of the Polish Biathlon Federation, where his first tasks were to organize competitions and assist the technical staff. After this, Marcin was given a more technical and specialized role. He mastered the operation of grinding machines and ski selectors, essential skills that marked his progression in the field. His expanded responsibilities now included full event preparation and management of athlete equipment.

His career as a technician started as an IBU Cup technician for the Polish B team, with a period of learning and skill refinement. Under the guidance of seasoned professionals, he adapted to the details of ski preparation in varying weather conditions. This phase of his career was pivotal, leading to Marcin taking on full responsibility for ski preparation at international competitions. His role demanded not only technical expertise but also resilience and adaptability.

Marcin's journey from a seasonal helper to a key technical figure in the Polish biathlon federation exemplifies the diverse and rewarding career paths available in biathlon. His story highlights the importance of skill development, mentorship, and hard work in achieving professional advancement and success.

Every ski I prepare carries a piece of my journey from a seasonal helper to a pivotal member of the Polish biathlon family. The transition from athlete to technician has not only been about mastering the technical skills but also about understanding the essence of teamwork and the spirit of biathlon. My commitment to excellence in ski preparation is a testament to the dedication and hard work that defines our sport. – Marcin Szwajnos

Photo: Szwajnos

Event Coordinator

Inese Golubeva from Latvia faced a turning point when circumstances led her away from pursuing a career as a biathlete. However, Inese's journey within biathlon did not end there. Her passion for the sport and desire to remain an integral part of the biathlon family led her to a new role that capitalized on her strengths and interests - organizing biathlon competitions in Latvia.

Her active nature and responsible approach to work, combined with her ability to organize and plan effectively, made her a perfect fit for the challenges of event organization. Inese's enthusiasm for working with people and her experience as a biathlete gave her a unique perspective on what it takes to create successful biathlon events. Embracing this new opportunity, Inese took on the responsibility of organizing competition calendars, creating competition invitations, and managing the logistics of biathlon events directly at venues across Latvia. This role gave her the opportunity to gain new experience and knowledge.

Inese's transition from athlete to biathlon event organizer is an example of how the skills and passion cultivated in one aspect of a sport can be redirected to support the biathlon family in another role. Through her work, Inese continues to contribute to the development of biathlon in Latvia.

Transitioning from competing on snow to organizing the events has opened a new chapter in my biathlon story. Each competition I organize is a reflection of my passion for the sport and my desire to give back to the community that shaped me. By focusing on the details that make a successful event, I'm able to contribute to the growth of biathlon in Latvia and support the dreams of future athletes. – Inese Golubeva

Photo: Golubeva