“Being old is not an excuse to be lazy,” 103-year-old Klaus Obermeyer says with a strength, spirit, and purpose that is inspiring. While Klaus does not blast down double blacks the way he used to—in his 80s and 90s—the mountains are an integral part of his daily life. “Being out in nature keeps you young,” he says.


Klaus Obermeyer Skiing in his 90s

“Your body is like a car,” Obermeyer told the Wall Street Journal in the fall of 2015 at the spry age of 95. “It needs maintenance and care. If you don’t work out, your body will slowly deteriorate.”

“Being old is not an excuse to be lazy,” - Klaus Obermeyer

Swimming has been an integral part of Obermeyer’s daily regimen for decades. Our skiing centurion still swims every day in one of three locations—either his home pool, Sport Obermeyer HQ’s solar-heated lap pool, or in the Aspen Meadows Resort heated saltwater pool overlooking the Roaring Fork River.

At 95, Klaus was swimming more than a mile every day. Nearing 100 years old, Klaus was clocking a half mile in the pool daily. Today, it’s about regularly swimming to stretch his body, feel weightless, and stay active. 

Klaus Obermeyer Practicing Aikido

Photo by Blake Gordon for The Wall Street Journal


“I find it easy to take a mindless state in the pool,” Obermeyer says. “When I swim, I’m forced to breathe deeply, and I like that I can stretch out my whole body. I swim year-round, even in snowstorms.”

Weight training and aikido are also keys to longevity according to Klaus Oberyemer.

“Workout, workout, workout every day to stay in shape. Keep your bones under pressure because if you don’t nurture your body, you won’t need it anymore. Never give up working out,” says Obermeyer.

An elliptical machine to keep his legs strong for skiing coupled with pushups, sit-ups, stretches are regular go-to workouts for Klaus.

Aikido, one of Klaus Obermeyer’s passions for more than 40 years, is not a combative martial art. Instead, aikido centers around momentum and connection. “It’s more like a dance than martial arts,” says Obermeyer. The circularity and rhythm of aikido are key characteristics of the “peaceful martial art form” that Klaus commits to.

“Being out in nature keeps you young,” - Klaus Obermeyer

Mindfully fueling his body to have the energy to lead a long, active, and healthy lifestyle is another major part of Klaus spending 100 years on snow. “One secret is to eat no more than you burn off,” says Obermeyer. “I try to be vegan, but I’m a vegan who cheats. My main concern is not to eat more calories than I burn.”


Klaus Obermeyer doing his daily swim

Photo by Blake Gordon for The Wall Street Journal

“Be Like Klaus” is a mantra that you’ll hear in the ski industry and see on bumper sticker in Aspen. From his yodel and eternal optimism to his inspiring healthy lifestyle to his celebration of nature, striving to live like Klaus feels like a worthy goal. One way we can all be a bit more like Klaus is to think about engaging with the mountains and nature for as long as possible. How lucky we’d be to stay strong enough and passionate enough to ski for the rest of our lives—like Klaus?

“I remember thinking at 98 years old that it was easier to ski than it was to walk,” Klaus says with a laugh.

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