What does a skier do when she/he has a bit of time?
Launches his own apparel line, naturally!
At least that’s what Gleb Retivykh, one of the leaders of the Russian sprint team just did.
“ There are two things that I want to accomplish: first one is to give pro-skiers and serious amateurs apparel that is not just functional – but was built out of experience, of thousands of hours of hard training and competing….” says the World Cup stage winner and the former Junior World champion.
But the fame & the fortune of Bjorn Daehlie, Vegard Ulvang and Therese Johaug who all gave their names to very successful brands, is not something that inspires the young Russian – at least, not yet:
“…It’s the second reason I’ve decided to launch my brand that is more important to me: I plan to give out all the sales proceeds to development of youth skiing in my country” adds a 26 year native of the town of Chaikovsky in Perm region of Russia.
With that “grand idea” Retivykh says, he had no problem enlisting help of his teammates – led by World champ of Lahti Sergei Ustiugov and medalist of both Lahti and the Olympics’ 2018 Yulia Belorukova.
“ We are not like Norway where skiing is the national sport and there are top facilities wherever you go. In Russia these things are spotty – some regions have excellent ones, but then the others have next to none. In my home town there are very decent opportunities for kids who want to start skiing – but in the places around it – not so much, to put it mildly. ”adds Retivykh as he shows his wares. “The new brand, GR after Gleb Retivykh, will be inherently linked to a program that we called Realize the Dream, where the money go towards building & maintaining courses and buying starter equipment”
Retivykh is being somewhat modest – as the Russian elite cross country skiing improves by leaps and bounds in the recent seasons, so does the popularity of the sport in the country. And to be dressed like, to wear the same racing suit as Ustiugov or Belorukova ( and Retivikh himself, of course) is something tens of thousands of Russian kids would dream of.
The brand creator and his partners swear their intention to keep the quality high ( “all materials and yarns are sourced from Italy:”) while prices relatively low. Well, with the very best models possible for advertizing the new brand already doing their best to promote it – it might just work. Should work, we hope, for the sake of all those kids who would discover the best sport there is – cross country skiing!