Retired Olympic skier encourages current Olympians to pursue their passion beyond sports

Mar 20, 2018, 3:23 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 4:02 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Looking back now, four years later, Conor Lyne can’t believe it.

“Still to this day, probably the best experience I’ve ever had,” said Lyne.

Lyne competed for Ireland as a ski racer during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Even though he was raised in Logan, Utah and graduated from Logan High School in 2011, his parents are Irish, which allowed him to compete for his home country. He was also Ireland’s flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony.

“That was, still is, kind of the greatest honor I’ve ever had, representing my country in the Olympic Games,” he said.

But, like all Olympians, hard decisions had to be made after the Games. Especially for those athletes who aren’t sponsored.

“After the Olympics, that was a big financial burden on me, my parents, and also the associations as well,” said Lyne. “And I also had to return to college. The University of Utah gave me two years off, and I had to come back and pursue my education.”

That’s the path many athletes take, taking time after competition to get their degree. Lyne worked smaller jobs, like driving for Uber, to pay for his education. He majored in finance with a minor in political science. Before entering the real world of 9-to-5’s, he took one last trip to pursue his passion for photography.

Lyne traveled to 21 countries in 115 days to take portraits of people. Places like Egypt, Morocco, Nicaragua, Jordan, and Iraq. He called his project Wander Faces. His goal was to show no matter where we live, we as people basically have the same dreams.

“Some people I took photos of, I would be staying with them for three to four days. Others I would have maybe a half hour conversation on the bus,” said Lyne. “I truly feel like we’re all equal and we’re all human beings who want the best for their country and their families.”

Lyne is hoping to do more with the project in the future. He recently took a job with Microsoft in Seattle to begin his career and to start paying off all his bills.

“It’s time for new things, time to move on and achieve new goals,” he said.

Lyne is hoping Olympians and Paralympians from PyeongChang can also find their passion beyond sports, and to pursue them, before starting their next chapters.

Conor Lyne was the flag bearer for Ireland in 2014. Conor Lyne during the 2014 Opening Ceremony. Conor Lyne was born in Utah to Irish parents. Lyne racing.

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Retired Olympic skier encourages current Olympians to pursue their passion beyond sports