Hauge enjoys a moment between races at the 2010 World Masters Championships.
skier. I didn’t have to wait long.)
“I started back into alpine ski racing in 1986,” said Hauge. “I must
have been about 67 or so.” He had moved from Toronto to Mid-
land, Ontario, back in the 1970s, where he now lives with his son.
With Blue Mountain ski area right next door in Collingwood, Hauge
was itching to try something different. Hauge retired his skinny skis
and took up alpine skiing, or more specifically, alpine ski racing.
“I was a pretty good skier, and with all my time on cross coun-
try skis, I had pretty good balance and was in good shape,” said
Hauge. “I started right off with the racing program at Blue Mountain
and then I began entering all the local races.”
Within three years at the age of 70, Hauge captured the first of
his 34 gold medals at the Canadian Masters Championships and
earned his first World Championships podium with another 41
medals to follow over the next 20 years.
Wendy Fursey, a masters teammate of Hauge’s at Blue Mountain,
attributes his meteoric rise through the ranks of masters racing to
pure determination. “He is a great athlete and in terrific shape, but
it’s his determination that sets him apart,” said Fursey. “He’s also
very humble and positive. I can’t remember him ever saying a bad
thing about anyone. He always has a twinkle in his eye, he never
complains and everyone has an enormous amount of respect for
him. At the races we gather around the course, just to see him
race. It’s inspiring.”
Hauge shows no inclination of slowing down any time soon. As
Fursey said, “He’s like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps on go-
ing.” Hauge still puts in two training days each week, skis when-
ever he can and lives an active live that would be the envy of most
men half his age. He races almost every weekend and eagerly
looks forward to peaking for the “big events,” such as the National
and World Championships.
There have been interruptions and injuries, however, such as
when he fell off the roof and broke his back when he was 85. “I
was up doing some caulking and must have lost my balance,” said
Hauge. “But it wasn’t too bad. I only missed one season.”
To have to pull out of this year’s World Championships was dis-
appointing. “Yes, I have a bit of a knee injury,” explained Hauge.
“You know, when you get older, you start to lose some cartilage.”
But Hauge will find some consolation with his trip to Vermont for
the Eastern Championships (March 11 to 14). “I like racing all four
events,” said Hauge. “Super G is great fun, but I think I like slalom
the best. I’m still pretty quick.”
Despite his advancing years, Hauge still manages to suppress the
fear factor. “No, I don’t worry about getting hurt,” said Hauge. “It’s
all part of life.” As for a life that has already surpassed all but one
of his competitors, Hauge said: “I haven’t done anything special,
other than be careful about what I eat and staying away from the
junk food. I’ve just been active my whole life with skiing, hunting,
camping and being outdoors. Why slow down now?”
Canadian ski racing legend Nancy Greene Raine gave tribute to
Hauge on his 90th birthday before the Senate of British Columbia.
She said, “This quiet and determined man is a shining example of
the sport-for-life model.”
Snapshots of a life in the fast lane. Top: Hauge displays his second-place trophy from the 2007 World Masters Championships. Bottom:
The two oldest ski racers in the world, Hauge (left) and Ernst Berger,
share the podium at the 2010 World Masters Games in Slovenia.