From her home base in Monaco, Pernilla Wiberg, Sweden’s all-time top female alpine racer, is a TV commentator, advocate for World Cup racer safety, entrepreneur, and homeschooling mom.

When you’re a world champion, an Olympic champion, a World Cup overall champion and a successful TV commentator, you’re not the average mom. But last March, Swedish alpine ski-racing legend Pernilla Wiberg found herself at home in Monaco, doing what many of the world’s moms were doing: homeschooling her kids and busting outdoors for exercise.
     “It’s a rollercoaster,” says the 50-year-old Wiberg of parenting, pandemic or not. “It’s not easy and there is not [only] one way to succeed.” 

Wiberg and her husband Bødvar Bjerke, a former Norwegian national alpine team coach, share parenting duties for their son and daughter, ages 17 and 13. Most winters, Bjerke covers for Wiberg when she travels extensively for her TV work, from late October through March. Last spring, while the family hunkered into quarantine in Monaco, back in Sweden Wiberg’s brother, sister and mother carried on their lives with no restrictions. 

“Nobody can say right now if the approach that Sweden has taken with COVID-19 will in the end be the right one or not,” says Wiberg of the nation’s less-restrictive “herd immunity” policies. “It will take some years.”

Wiberg’s journeys include regular trips to the Pernilla Wiberg Hotel in Idre Fjall, a small ski resort and former mining village tucked up close to the Norwegian border in the northwest part of Dalarna in Sweden. The ski-in, ski-out hotel was built in 2003, shortly after Wiberg retired from racing.  “It was the perfect project to jump into,” says Wiberg. She drew on lessons learned as a world-class athlete, from navigating sponsors and negotiating contracts to “doing mistakes,” she says. Today, Wiberg is engaged in all aspects of the hotel, from designing skier-friendly features—including small drying cupboards and lots of hooks for gear in every room—to overseeing marketing and consulting on menus. Her fierce dedication to skiing has shifted from winning races to sharing her love for the sport...

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