These Octogenarians Are High Spirited Role Models.

Some skiers slow down as they get older. But Bud Temple (84) and Paul Jacobsen (89) pick up steam. Each has skied for more than 70 years. They each learned on primitive equipment in a city park.

Meet Bud Temple

Bud’s been skiing for 70 years.
Credit: Harriet Wallis

Bud launched into skiing in an unusual way. While a student at the University of Utah, he took a ski course offered by Bill Lash, a founder of PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America). Bud excelled, and he earned a ski teaching certificate—one of the very earliest. But then he was drafted.

No problem. He entered the U.S. Army with two unusual documents: his ski teaching certificate and a personal letter from Bill Lash to the Commandant at Camp Carson where special troops were trained.

After basic training when assignments were made, Bud presented his two documents to the assignment officials.

“The Army didn’t know what to do with me,” Bud said. “They’d never seen such documents.”

So the officials left the room, called the Commandant, and returned saying: “The Commandant is expecting you.”

Bud taught special troops how to ski, and he also taught survival, mountaineering, and climbing to special forces in all branches of the military.

Bud showing a some form.
Credit: Harriet Wallis

And then he continued to teach and coach. He coached World Cup alpine champion Tamara McKinney, created a ski school at a small mountain that didn’t have a ski school, and taught internationally at eight resorts.

Last year, Bud was clocked at 48 mph.

On land, Bud hobbles because of chronic leg problems. But skis give flight to this retired mining and metals professional. He swoops smoothly down the slopes.

Bud’s advice for older skiers:

“Accept that you’re not as agile as you once were. Slow down,” says speedster Bud. Then he adds: “I guess I should take my own advice!”

Meet Paul Jacobsen

So has Paul.
Credit: Harriet Wallis

Paul holds a 25 year record for skiing every day of the season at Brighton. He’s known as First Chair Paul because he’s always first in line when the lifts open.

Agile and mobile at 89, this retired architect skis daily. Then, for après ski, he goes to most of the University of Utah’s home football and basketball games

Skiing has always meant freedom for him. As a kid he skied for the first time when someone brought a simple pair of slats to the sledding hill. He was hooked.

As a teen he worked in his dad’s grocery store, and he drove to the wholesale produce market daily to buy fresh produce for the store. When his job was done, he was free to ski.

For years, Paul skied with a Japanese fish kite flying from his helmet. But it blew away this winter, and everyone misses seeing it. When skiers dress silly in spring, he wears a tutu.

Paul’s advice for older skiers:

“Enjoy what you’re doing,” says Paul. “Don’t be a couch potato.”

Paul in his tutu. He skis every day, but not always in a tutu. Sometimes he tows a kite from his helmet.
Credit: Harriet Wallis

One Comment

  1. Bruce Sherman says:

    Hey Harriet…what about moi! Just turned 86 on june2nd and I’m getting a new knee on June 26. Had some knee and leg issues last season plus 2 broken ribs that kept me out of the powder in one of the best seasons in years. That’s life! I’ve been skiing since the age of 4 …covering everything from Aspen to Zermatt…including the Atlas Mtns of Morrocco …skiing with the trainees for that countries Mtn Corps…all of them outfitted in surplus 10th Mtn. Gear. They did not show a lot of promise so…for anyone wanting to invade …go over the mtns. With George as my role model, I hope to ski at 100!

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