At age 93, this St. Thomas senior stays active doing more sports than you can imagine

Age is just a number for 93-year-old Stan Grohar of St. Thomas, Ont.

The senior has a daily winter ritual of skiing at London’s Boler Mountain, and although he may be one of the oldest people there, his smooth 180-degree turns and high speed are known to turn heads on the slopes.

“I just love it, you know? It makes me feel good, and that’s about it,” Grohar said.

Skiing isn’t the only sport he enjoys. The self-described “adrenaline junkie” keeps active throughout the year. In the summertime, he trades his ski poles for a paddle and spends a few hours every day kayaking on local waters. 

“I got some some sports equipment down in my basement like a treadmill and a rowing machine, so I do a little bit of that and I go on hikes and bike as well,” he said. 

Trying new things and staying in shape is what motivates Grohar to get up and moving every morning, his daughter Nada Grohar-Mather said following a ski session with her dad. 

Stan Grohar’s daughter Nada was introduced to the sport when she was a kid. She tries to accompany her father at the slopes whenever she can. (Isha Bhargava/CBC)

“My dad won’t put his kayak boat away until he breaks ice, and then within probably a week or two, we usually get snow, so he’ll start skiing pretty quickly after that,’ Grohar-Mather said.

“There’s always something going on, it’s hard to keep up with him sometimes.”

Despite spending his childhood climbing and hiking the Slovenian Alps where he grew up, Grohar didn’t start skiing until after he immigrated to Canada 1951.

“I started here at the Boler when I was 25 and that was in 1955, so from there on I ski almost every year. I concentrate on my turns and the faster I go, the more I like it,” he said.  

Stan’s alley

Grohar is often the first in line to get up the trails at Boler every morning. He’s become so well-known by staff and other skiers, they’ve casually named his favourite hill “Stan’s alley”. The hill hasn’t opened up to the public so far this season due to mild temperatures and a lack of snow.

“Everybody knows him, they’re always high-fiving him and saying ‘Way to go Stan’. Some of them may even be jealous because he turns so well and he’s so speedy,” his daugher said. 

93-year-old Stan Grohar kayaks everyday in the summer. His daughter says he doesn't put his kayak boat away until he breaks ice.
93-year-old Stan Grohar kayaks everyday in the summer. His daughter says he doesn’t put his kayak boat away until he breaks ice. (Submitted by Nada Grohar-Mather)

Watching her father’s dedication to every sport he participates in is very inspiring for Grohar-Mather, who said she gets lots of laughs and enjoyment whenever she does activities with him.

“I guess you could say I’m his biggest cheerleader, I am always bragging about him because he’s pretty amazing and definitely someone to look up to,” Grohar-Mather said. 

“My brother and I were both introduced to skiing when we were just little kids. We’d be skiing between dad’s legs with little boards on, which was the beginning of our ski season, and we’d continue skiing ever since.”

Grohar’s most recent hobby has been line dancing, which he stumbled upon last summer. It’s one that’s quite enjoyable, he said, adding that he doesn’t have any plans to take up another activity, since his hands are pretty full with the ones he’s already got. 

His advice to others?

“Get active, and enjoy whatever you’re doing.”

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