Alpine Canada Masters’ Tribute to Rolf Hauge (01-Sep-1919 to 30-Aug-2022)

Alpine Canada Masters’ Tribute to Rolf Hauge (01-Sep-1919 to 30-Aug-2022)

We have truly lost a legend from the global alpine Masters’ community; below are just a few of the tributes to Rolf and his legacy …..

Denyse Houde: I’m sorry to let you know that Rolf passed away peacefully Tuesday, 30 August 2022, with his son Stein at his side. Born 1 September 2019, Rolf had become one of Canada’s most widely admired and inspiring Masters’ racer. He will be missed.

Rolf became one of Canada’s most widely admired and inspiring Masters’ racer. He was a humble man who loved competing, traveling and the company of other racers. He was an accomplished Master racer in Nordic and Biathlon before switching to Alpine racing in 1986. Rolf relentlessly pursued excellence in his newfound passion and won countless national and international championship races in Canada, the United States, Europe and South America. He competed well into his nineties before his knees forced him into retirement. Rolf was a truly remarkable individual and a tremendous role model for athletes of any age. His legacy will live on.

Alpine career highlights:
1990 CMAC, Whistler BC (won his first national gold medals)
1997 FIS Masters’ Criterium, Copper Mountain USA (won his first gold and silver FIS medals with 14 racers in the 75-79 age category)
2006 First Canadian male to win a FIS Masters’ Cup Globe (85-89 age category)
2008 Canadian Masters’ Hall of Fame inductee
2010 First ever World Winter Masters’ Games, Kranjska Gora SLO (2 golds and 1 silver 90-94 age category)

Lloyd Sevack: Sad, but what a life and legacy. I may have met Rolf at a race in Ontario earlier, but my fondest memory was in 2010 at the World Winter Masters’ Games, held in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, when I believe Rolf was in his early 90s, competing, and yes, he had a Swiss competitor in his age group whom he seesawed with in the results.

One evening while we were at dinner, I asked Rolf if he still had his driver’s licence. He scoffed at the notion, adding that he recently bought a new truck. Now knowing this guy was a rock star, I asked him if he ever went on big ski trips with it. To this he replied something to the effect of, “yes, I went out west, I skied the Canadian Rockies, then down into the US, to continue in Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado over six weeks, but that was a long time ago”. I asked how long, and he replied “probably close to 10 years now”. That is Rolf, road-tripping at over 80, alone, across North America. From what I knew of Rolf, he marched to his own drum, one that we’d all be proud to resonate with. Good to have known you Rolf, even this little bit.

Shayna Guant: I remember Rolf as the wise one who once said, “You don’t need to be good at ski racing, you just need to outlive your competition!” Words to live by. I tell everyone this story. He truly is an inspiration. And to think, he stopped ski racing because he fell off his roof and hurt is back, not because he got injured racing. And what was he doing on his roof anyways in his mid-nineties??!!!! Age is all in your mind for sure!

Wendy Fursey: I believe he fell off his roof in his eighties and still kept racing! He was a huge inspiration to all Masters and a legend we all loved to brag and talk about. It looks like he was two days shy of his 103rd birthday. WOW! An amazing legacy he has left behind. (Reply from Shayna Gaunt: He was 93 when he fell off his roof. That’s what ended his ski racing career. I still tell people that story. Mid-nineties and on his roof!!! A true inspiration!)

Margrie (Mickey) Wallace: Rolf showed us that no matter your age, skiing is like having wings. He would fly by many in competition, yet showed sportsmanship and gave encouragement to help others rise to their best. I recall being on the Masters’ Committee when we voted to create a new 90+ age category to pay tribute to his continued commitment – and that he still put down a great time!!! A Master’s legend, inspiration and a gentleman.

Pierre Bégin: Sad to hear that. I hope I can ski and race for as long as he has done. I had lot of respect for him and he was my inspiration to continue … As Wendy says, he was a HUGE inspiration to all, an inspiration with an A+ ie Rolf HAuge.

Judi Sheppard: I will always remember Rolf for his many fine qualities. He was an exceptional athlete and an excellent skier who was dedicated to Masters’ ski racing. He reminded us that age is just a number and we should never let age stand in or way or slow us down from doing the sports we love.

Dave Nighswander: Rolf picked up alpine ski racing at the young age of 67. He was an accomplished Nordic and Biathlon racer before becoming one of the most outstanding Masters’ alpine racers. When Rolf was in the 85+ age categories, new Masters’ racers who met Rolf for the first time, started the race day thinking it was inspiring that he was still racing. That was until they saw him in the race course and realized how good a racer he was. Rolf RACED, he was not out for a pedestrian stroll down the course. Suddenly the new Masters thought process changed to ‘Can I beat him?’ and that in itself was a challenge. Rolf, thank you for your inspiration. I will miss you.

Link to gallery of photos: Rolf_Hauge_Tribute_Photos

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