September 13, 1970 –
Growing up a stone’s throw from Chicopee ski hill, Cambridge’s Luke Sauder loved skiing from an early age. He soon outgrew the local hills and sought bigger challenges. That ambition would take him to such legendary places as Kitzbuhel in Austria and Val d’Isere in France.
Sauder went on to compete in two Winter Olympics, one of only a handful of local athletes to ever do so (Lillehammer 1994, and Nagano 1998).
For eight years he was among the elite downhillers in the world, skiing on the FIS World Cup circuit as a member of Canada’s Alpine Ski Team. The longtime Tour veteran had a distinguished career, with more than 10 top-15 finishes.
A little-known fact is that he also claimed the Guinness World Record for most vertical miles skied in 24 hours.
Luke’s passion for ski racing was always evident through his quintessential, go-for-broke Crazy Canuck style, fists-pumping, arms waving. Now living in Thornbury Ontario, on most winter days, you will still find him coaching young skiers on the ski slopes of Collingwood’s Osler Bluff. Here he gets to share his passion and knowledge of alpine ski racing to young up-and-coming Canadian ski racers.
He has also been working with Alpine Canada.
Next to Edi Podivinsky, Sauder was the top Canadian downhiller on the World Cup circuit for a time, placing a respectable 23rd overall one season, which included four top-15 finishes. His 11th-place showing in Chamonix, France that year represented a career best.
Sauder showed that dedication to his craft, as well as experience, could take an athlete a long way on the world stage.
“I’m really enjoying the coaching experience and having a great time,” he said.