In December 2016 Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from Formula 1, having claimed his maiden Formula 1 title after finishing second at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
He earned nothing but plaudits for his decision and I believe there is a valuable lesson for those competing in any sport to take away from Nico Rosberg’s 2016 season. Sport isn’t everything.
In the sporting world we obsess over wanting to make the current generation of athletes and sports people live up to the legends of the past in terms of what they actually do and in terms of their career statistics.
Although it is admirable at how motivated and at times single minded some can be when they achieve seemingly endless triumphs in their chosen sport, it is also important to make sports people realise that it is ok to have the ambition to become a champion and then be content and human enough to leave soon afterwards and begin a new chapter in their lives.
We hear very often how those competing in sport have dedicated there whole lives to their sport, starting at a very young age. But as, not just Rosberg, the likes of Mark Webber in the World Endurance Championship and Jenson Button in Formula 1 have shown with their desire to explore and do new things, it should be advised and encouraged that sports people should look for other activities to immerse themselves into, away from the world of sport. You can’t compete at the top of a chosen sport forever, especially in something as athletic as motorsport.
So to me, Nico Rosberg shouldn’t just be congratulated on becoming a World Champion and beating a rival who is considered one of the greatest of his generation. He should also be congratulated on having built a life outside of sport and that he has achieved what he wanted to achieve in Formula 1, giving him the freedom to begin a new chapter in his life, at only the age of thirty one.