Swedish media innovator Annie Wegelius who died of breast cancer at 58 in 2017 inspired me with the passion for Tour de France

  • Back in the mid ninety’s a Swedish company Investor AB announced it was considering investing a billion dollars in media.  As I had a friend Gus Fisher who was at the time on the board of News Corporation and they were seeking investment I decided to go get the billion from the Swedish company and in the process would end up meeting the very electric lady Annie Wegelius in Stockholm. I was speaking to her six months before her death and during Tour de France I think of her often.

When I first met Annie she was the owner of Wegelius Television, one of Scandinavia’s largest independent production companies.  She had great ideas for reality television, and drama.  She would later sell 91% to Swedish film industry giant Svensk Film-industri who wanted to widen their scope in television.  Now what did Annie do after this? She took a sleeping bag and a tent to follow the Tour de France.  I would call Annie often during her adventures and she would tell me about how exciting it was, and if you wanted reality Tour de France was up close and personal.  I would get calls with all the action updates and I thought how cool is this lady, she sells a stake in her company for $10 million and takes off with a tent. Naturally this made me fall in love with all the Swedish women of adventure and the updates from Annie made me want to do exactly what she was doing.   Now each year I follow the tour creating social media content using all the tools we have now such as drones and Go Pros and live streams and thinking, Annie would have loved this.

As you can read from the message above which was in March of 2017 , Annie was alone in Mexico City, and I have Mexico City pretty wired and unable to be with her in what was her last attempt to save her life I connected her with all the people I had met and become friends with in Mexico City.  Sadly Annie lost the battle. Yet each year after her death I think of her during the tour her camping on side of roads, or outside town or in the Alps. Whenever I see a rider taking those steep climbs I think of Annie and that dreadful killer cancer.

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