Klaus Obermeyer was born in a small Bavarian alpine village called Oberstaufen on December 2, 1919. His obsession with the mountains and skiing began from early. The windows of his childhood home overlooked Bavaria’s Allgäu Alps and you could ski right to his kitchen door in the winter.

At the age of three Klaus fashioned his first pair of skis out of a thin flexible orange crate board and string. He nailed his good buckle house shoes to these makeshift skis and slid away. “My mother was not happy to see my good shoes nailed to the board,” remembers Klaus Obermeyer. “I had so much fun on those homemade skis. It was fabulous.”

A few years later, Obermeyer’s mother surprised him with an actual pair of skis made by Maurius Eriksen—father of the future Norwegian ski racing legend, Stein Eriksen.

“That was sensational because then I was free to [ski] all over the place,” says Klaus. “Growing up in the Alps, there were many places where you could climb up and ski down. It was a wonderful experience.”

The young Obermeyer had new skis and endless terrain. He didn’t know how to make a turn on skis, but that didn’t stop him. He skied to school, he built jumps with his friends, he competed and won ski races. Klaus remembers a childhood in the Alps marked by warmth and outdoor pursuits. His time was spent hiking, climbing, and skiing in the mountains. Ski movies starring Leni Riefenstahl and Hannes Schneider piqued his interest and sparked his imagination. More than 100 years later, Klaus now knows how to turn and stop on skis, but he hasn’t stopped!

Obermeyer’s roots in Bavaria have propelled him forward for more than a century. “The longer you ski,” says Klaus Obermeyer, “the longer you live.” 

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