“High Performance: From Rugby to the Corporate World” – Irene Schiavón Matteo

“How you face a challenge is a choice,” said Irene, “you can see everything in your life as an opportunity, even the tough situations.”


In this TALK, Irene Schiavón Matteo – former professional rugby player- shares her journey from an authentic and inspirational perspective.


“Learning how to lose is a lesson for life,” said Irene at the beginning of the conversation. As every single athlete, she had to overcome failure and learn from it, not only on the field but also outside it.

After four years of focused preparation with the national team to qualify Spain for Rio 2016, she broke a tendon only two months earlier.

She shares the heartbreaking feeling and how hard it was to cope with those moments. Yet, she faced the challenge and did everything necessary to recover from that injury in time. Irene relates the bitter sensation of traveling to Rio as the 13th player of a team of 12. And although she assures that it was a magnificent experience, she confesses that it was hard to digest after so many years of effort.


Nevertheless, her positive mentality and resilience have given her unforgettable moments. She talks passionately about all rugby gave her, traveling around the world, sharing the experience with her teammates, and overcoming impossible peaks, as beating New Zealand in London 2015 World Rugby 7’s Series.

Her eyes still light up, and her heart beats fast when she remembers those moments when she broke the New Zealand defense line.

Just like this, infinite moments she treasured during her sporting career, many learnings, and values that will accompany her forever in all aspects of her life.


Irene was 29 years old while coming back from the Olympics and she was already beginning to think about her career transition.

Then she faced a new challenge, starting a professional career with a degree as an engineer that she never used before, as she was 100% focused on high-performance rugby.


She shared how she faced her athlete transition, the keys that helped her overcome fear and dare to go for it, and how the corporate world quickly appreciated her skills transferred from her sports career.

“Athletes have a very high commitment. We know how to recognize our weaknesses to work on strengthening them. We are not afraid to face challenges, or we do it by overcoming that fear. We know the importance of teamwork, of moving forward united for a goal,” added Irene, “and that is very useful in the business world too.”


We invite you to tune into this inspirational talk. Every athlete has a different transition story, and we always learn from them.


Want to know more about this exciting journey?

Press play and enjoy!  

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