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The Amazing 91-Year-Old Aussie Nanna Who Skis More Gracefully Than You Ever Will

Too old to ski? Perisher the thought!

10/06/2017 8:39 AM AEST | Updated 11/06/2017 8:35 AM AEST
Perisher
Woohoo!

You've got to meet Patricia Savage. "Mrs Savage", as everyone very respectfully calls her, is a 91-year-old Aussie grandmother who's our new favourite thing about winter.

Mrs Savage lives in Brisbane. But at least once each year, she skis at Perisher -- Australia's largest and most-visited ski resort, which has been open for a week even though the Aussie ski season officially starts this long weekend.

Just look at those gorgeous ski turns down Perisher's aptly named Happy Valley run. What a skier. What a lady.

Mrs Savage first visited the Aussie snowfields in 1963. Indeed that was the first time she ever saw snow. Her husband wasn't keen on it. He had been a P.O.W. in Japan in winter and had suffered terribly with no shoes. But Mrs Savage was hooked.

"I thought someone had put a diamond on every leaf. It was just magic," she said of the experience of seeing fresh snow glistening on the snowgums.

Mrs Savage's first visit to Perisher was in the huge snow year of 1964, when you could walk out onto the snow from first floor balconies. Fifty-one years later, Perisher made this video of the lady who would become the resort's most loyal client.

And here's one from the 2016 season.

"I'm not aiming to do anything too fancy, I just want to be able to ski along and to do some nice little turns and get down safely and go up and do it again," Mrs Savage says in the video.

Perisher media
We're pretty sure Mrs Savage is the one teaching the instructor here.

Did we mention that Mrs Savage is legally blind, or that she founded SPELD -- an organisation for kids with learning disabilities?

Oh, and here's a video of Franz Pichler, a ski instructor who often skis with Mrs Savage (the one in the video above is Christian Keller). Mrs Savage describes Pichler as "young and good looking". Pichler, too, has been a part of Perisher for over half a century.

Perisher is not the only Australian resort with nonagenarian skiers. Thredbo has 95-year-old Frank Prihoda, who came to the mountains 60 years ago -- as many Europeans did in the age when migrants came to work on the fledgling Snowy Mountains hyrdo-electric scheme.

Originally from Czechoslovakia, Frank competed for Australia at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Italy and is Australia's oldest Olympian. Thredbo has made this great vid of Frank recalling the good old days to tie in with the resort's 60-year anniversary celebrations.

In more up-to-date Australian snow news, virtually all Aussie resorts will have at least a lift or two turning this weekend. There's only a very light cover of natural snow thanks to moderate snowfalls two weeks ago, but snowmaking has kicked in on the main runs.

Thredbo should be good if you live in NSW, with at least four lifts and the 3km High Noon run open. Perisher will have seven lifts open servicing beginner and lower intermediate terrain.

Falls Creek and Mt Buller look like they'll have the most terrain open of the Victorian resorts.


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