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Klaus Obermeyer is a living legend. The 98-year-old skier has had the amazing privilege of witnessing every technological advancement in skiing from the sport’s beginning. From nailing his shoes to boards pried from a crate to creating the tools that keep us turning in all conditions, Obermeyer has spent a lifetime perfecting the craft. The nonagenarian, who still skis regularly, has the secret to longevity on snow. Tune in to hear Klaus discuss the early days of skiing, his method for teaching beginners, and his secret to a long and healthy life.
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Topics & Times:
[01:55] Klaus made his first pair of skis at 2 years old.
[02:08] He used the chestnut boards from some orange crates for his planks.
[03:06] He built a small jump out of snow and generally had a great time sliding around on snow.
[03:30] When he was around 4 or 5 years old, a Norwegian man fashioned him a pair of real skis.
[04:45] A doctor in Hamburg made the first metal ski edges.
[06:05] People used different types of wood to make skis, but Americans used Hickory. Hickory is tough but flexible.
[08:58] Klaus made sure that when teaching beginners, he wouldn’t do anything to scare them; scared skiers are stiff skiers.
[10:25] When snowboarding came around, it influenced the shape of skis. Shorter, wider skis are great for skiing in heavy, chunky snow.
[13:00] Klaus worked to create warm, comfortable ski clothing that enhanced the skiing experience.
[14:25] Klaus still skis, but not in a storm or when it’s icy.
[14:58] At his age, he finds it easier to ski than to walk.
[15:32] Klaus says the key is to not eat more calories than you burn, work out every day, keep your bones under pressure, and make sure your body is always used to working.
[16:15] Never give up working out; Klaus likes swimming.
[17:25] Klaus learned a lot about skiing from a sheepherder who knew how to make parallel turns.
[18:10] The sheepherder skied to school every day.
[22:00] Norwegians skied for reasons of survival.
[24:55] In terms of keeping skiing popular, Klaus says to “just let it happen” and “enjoy the feeling of sliding on snow.”
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