For octogenarians Duffy Dodge and Paul Rich,
now is hardly the time to slow down BY BILL MCCOLLOM
Paul Rich competes in a masters slalom circa 1981.
Duffy Dodge and Paul Rich at the Skier’s
Edge Eastern Masters Championships.
New England masters ski racing icons
Duffy Dodge and Paul Rich have accumu-
lated a total of 150 years of ski racing expe-
rience between them. They have seen skis
evolve from wooden slabs with toe straps
made out of inner tubes to sophisticated
high-tech carving machines with step-in
bindings that release in multiple directions.
Both started their long journey with the sport
by clamoring up New England cow pastures
and then sliding back down. Today, they ride
detachable quads and link up carved turns
on immaculately groomed carpets of snow,
enhanced by the adjacent snowmaking ma-
chines. How things have changed.
Dodge and Rich didn’t know each other as
collegiate ski racers, since the war years de-
layed college for both, but in a twist of fate,
their wives were best friends and sorority sis-
ters at the University of New Hampshire. But
with Dodge just joining the ranks of Class 13
at 85 years young, and Rich close behind at
82, they been acquainted for some time now,
as friends, competitors, and inspirations to
their fellow masters racers.
“I’m just a local boy,” says Dodge with a
laugh. “I grew up in St. Johnsbury [Vermont],
and I’m still here now.” Dodge clambered
about the open fields on skis as a youngster,