Meet the 90-year-old man who’s still skiing every day

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Meet the 90-year-old man who’s still skiing every day

A video released of a 90-year-old skier, who emigrated from Italy to an Australian ski resort after World War Two, is inspiring skiers everywhere and proving that you’re never too old to hit the slopes.

Tommy Tomasi first started skiing in his native Italian mountains when he was four. Now, 86 years later, he still skis for up to seven hours every day as the founder of the ski patrol in Australian resort Thredbo.

Tommy was born in 1926 and grew up in the mountains of Northern Italy. He started ski racing in a junior team aged nine – however, when World War Two broke out he was forced to leave his home and fight for the Italian Partisans against Hitler and Mussolini.

Tommy was captured by the Gestapo and placed in a concentration camp where he remained until nine months later, when he managed to escape. Along with three of his fellow prisoners Tommy was found, weighing just 32kg, by American soldiers, who took him to a nearby village and helped him recover. Until the end of the war he worked as a translator for the Americans who rescued him.

Once the war was over, Tommy applied for an Australian visa and boarded a ship to Fremantle in Western Australia, near Perth.

He didn’t see snow again until he noticed a picture of a chalet in Charlotte Pass, a resort in New South Wales, while walking down a high street in Perth – before this he didn’t know Australia even had snow. He travelled to the mountains immediately and found a job working as a bulldozer driver until he eventually got a job as a ski instructor in 1953.

During his time in Charlotte Pass, Tommy met his future wife, Joyce, and befriended Tony Sponar, who was to become the founder of Thredbo resort. He and Tony used to enjoy skiing in the area around Charlotte Pass and often stopped at the top of the valley, where the Eagles Nest restaurant now sits, discussing their dream of turning the area below into a ski resort.

In 1956, after investment from businessmen in Sydney, the building of Thredbo began under Tony’s management. When the resort opened for the first time in 1958 Tommy also launched the Thredbo ski patrol – and he’s been working there ever since.

Proof, as if we needed it, that age really is just a number when it comes to skiing.


Courtesy of The Telegraph


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