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Sugar House Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / Brighton throws birthday party for 90 year old skier

Apr 16, 2018 17h06 ● By Harriet Wallis

Paul (orange pants) celebrates his 90th with some of his Brighton friends / photo: Harriet Wallis

Paul holds a 25 year record for skiing every day of the season. He's known as First Chair Paul because he's always first in line when the lifts open.

Brighton threw a party for him on his 90th birthday, and all his mountain friends were there to celebrate -- skiers, snowboarders, lifties, Brighton staff, Mountain Hosts, and General Manager Randy Doyle. In addition, they opened Paul's favorite lift early so everyone could get first tracks with the birthday boy.

Paul knows how to dress for the conditions. On bitter days he wears his “hot buns” – specially tailored long johns with pockets to hold hand warmers. When skiers dress silly in spring, he wears a tutu. Sometimes he flies a paper Japanese fish kite from his helmet.

A tutu is fun at any age / photo: Harriet Wallis

This retired architect not only skis daily but he’s an avid sports fan. He takes TRAX to all University of Utah's home football and basketball games. Even when games end late, he still skis a few runs the next day.

Agile and mobile at 90, Paul enjoys skiing as freedom. Skiing has always meant freedom for him. He worked in his dad's grocery store as a teen, and he drove to the wholesale market daily to buy fresh produce. After school and when his job was done, he was free to ski. And he skied.

Paul’ advice for older skiers: "Don't be a couch potato. Enjoy what you're doing every day," he says.

First Chair Paul with a liftie buddy / photo: Harriet Wallis