On the way to Canada
At the age of twelve, she finally decided to pursue a professional career in sports. She was part of her country’s national junior team and traveled to different countries to compete in the respective competitions. Donald Trump once claimed that his wife was also a reserve rider for his country’s Olympic team. However, no document proves it.
Ivana Trump: Before becoming the wife of Donald Trump, she was a successful skier.
Traveling with the junior team gave Ivana Trump her first taste of the Western capitalist world. At the age of 18, Trump then began a relationship with skier George Syrovatka. The two lived together in Prague and studied at Charles University. According to an article in New York Magazine, when Syrovatka left Czechoslovakia for Canada, he arranged for Ivana to marry his Austrian skier friend Alfred Winklmeyer.
As a model in New York
The marriage gave her an Austrian passport, which in turn allowed her to emigrate to Canada as well without formally “defecting” her country of origin. The marriage between Ivana Trump and Alfred Winklmeyer was divorced in 1973 after two years.
Once in Canada, Ivana worked as a ski instructor to earn money. At the same time, she took English lessons and began her career as a model. As an athletic model, she was part of a group of women promoting the 1976 Winter Olympics. Part of that was a trip to New York, where she eventually met Donald Trump and was to marry a year later. This started his career in the United States.