What’s better to do after quitting your job as a software CEO than becoming a professional athlete with the goal of making it to the 2026 Olympics? That’s exactly what Max Valverde decided to do when he moved to Park City, Utah, just two years ago. In fact, he only went down the path of becoming a professional athlete just around a year ago, but he’s already succeeded.
According to Inside Edition, Valverde is 39-years-old and is a father of three. He claims he was an average athlete as a child and, despite fantasizing of becoming a professional athlete when he was younger, he stuck to business and wound up becoming the CEO of software company FareHarbor.
In 2021, FareHarbor was sold, and Valverde stepped down as CEO. With the money from the company, he was able to take a year off from work, moving with his family from Amsterdam to Utah. It was there that Valverde learned about Ski Mountaineering Racing, a sport set to make its Olympic debut in 2026. Though he described himself as “overweight” at the time and though his wife suggested trying to work out for just two days before making such a commitment, Valverde set his mind on making it to the Olympics.
Though the next Winter Olympics are still a good bit from now, and though he certainly still has no guarantee of actually qualifying, Valverde has accomplished several major goals. Just one year in, he managed to take 12th place in the skimo sprint category and, maybe a bit more significantly, he was contacted by Backcountry about a sponsorship. Now he can confidently say that he is a professional athlete.
He’s documented much of his journey throughout his TikTok. Make sure to check it out.
Thanks everyone for all the support! And thanks @Backcountry for believing in me. Also, I’m getting interviewed for Inside Edition on Monday the 15th so hit me with a follow if you want to see the behind the scenes! If you’re new to my channel, I post daily about my midlife crisis (jk, my crazy journey!), being an older athlete, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, managing being a father, husband, and an athlete, weight loss while training, and I’d love for you to come with me on this adventure for the olympics in 2026. Let’s do this! #olympichopeful #skimo #myjourney #backcountryskiing #splitboarding #skiing #randonee #transformation #venturebeyond #sponsored #greenscreenvideo
Thanks for all the support (and the hate tbh)! Can’t have one without the other. To the supporters, if I’ve inspired you to make a healthy change in your life and you’ve commented or DM’d me, you inspire me every day. So thank you. Waking up to your messages is a fuel I didn’t know I could use. To the haters, you keep me fired up because every underdog story needs non-believers. If you didn’t doubt me, I wouldn’t have you to motivate me to try to prove you wrong. So thank you for your brutal honesty. And thanks to the Powderkeg race, USA Skimo, and Solitude Mountain for hosting the Nationals. If you’re new here, I share daily videos about my midlife crisis (jk, my wild journey to the Olympics!) of being an almost-40 year old athlete, mountain biker, backcountry skier, managing being a father/husband/athlete, weight loss while training, and I’d love for you to come with me on this ride. 12th baby!!! Ahhhh!!!! #olympichopeful #skimo #myjourney #backcountryskiing #skiing #randonee #transformation
Image Credit: Max Valverde via TikTok