Incredible 97-Year-Old Retires From Skiing in Massachusetts After 90 Years
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Skiing is one of those few things "that you can do forever."
I think of doing more low-impact activities like skiing all the time, as I know that I will not be able to do many of my current hobbies forever.
Skiing is like hiking, tennis, and pickleball: you see people of all ages participating. From three-year-olds to 70-year-olds, the hobby is for everyone.
Now you (I) may have seen a token 80-year-old on the slopes, and that is incredible, but never have I seen a 90+-year-old.
Just last week, 97-year-old Herb Oedel from North Andover, Massachusetts, skied his final run at Ski Bradford, in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Oedel has been skiing since he was seven, making his 90-year skiing career a long and successful one.
If you know Ski Bradford, you know it is a forgiving mountain. It is a beginner's mountain with easy runs, wide trails, and the ability for all levels (especially the kiddos).
But that is neither here nor there. Mr. Oedel could be sledding at 97, and I would be incredibly impressed.
Being nearly 100, Oedel has become a local celebrity at Ski Bradford over the past few years.
“He’s befriended the staff,” Ski Patrol director Dennis Gauvin told the Boston Globe. “He says hi to the patrollers every day he comes.”
In his few years at Bradford Ski area, Oedel defied expectations and is still “mentally and physically very strong,” according to Gauvin.
“His attitude is great,” Gauvin said. “You would not think that he’s 97.″
This story is amazing, and Oedel likely wouldn't be able to do it without the support of his 100-year-old wife, Ginny. Now that he is hanging up the skis, who knows...maybe the couple will be spotted on the pickleball court.
Hats off to you Mr. Oedel, I want to be like you when I'm 97!