Britain’s oldest skier has finally decided to hang up her poles … at the age of 102

    Published on April 8th, 2016 | by Jordan Kierans

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    Britain’s oldest skier first began hurtling down the slopes of Scotland on homemade skis in the 1930s.

    But now 102-year-old Hilda Jamieson has finally had to give up the extreme sport because of a condition that has left her almost blind.

    The great-grandmother, from Newtyle, Angus, has conquered vertigo-inducing ski runs across the globe but in recent months has only managed to keep going by getting one of her daughters to act as a ‘beacon’ guiding her down the mountain sides.

    Now the enthusiast has called time on her gruelling daily exercise and has been forced to hang up her ski poles and thermal salopettes because of her degenerative eye condition.

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    Hilda Jamieson, 102, (pictured) has finally had to give up skiing because of a condition that has left her almost blind

    ‘I love it so much but I’ve had a good innings,’ said Mrs Jamieson who first learned to ski on homemade wooden skis 80 years ago.

    Mrs Jamieson and her husband David Jamieson – who died in 2002 – were pioneers of the sport in Scotland.

    They would head out into the wilds at weekends, trudging for hours up steep mountain passes – all for the two-minute thrill of hurtling back down again with huge, cumbersome skis attached to their leather ski boots.

    ‘It was about two minutes’ skiing and then you had to climb and climb up to an hour again but it was worth it,’ Mrs Jamieson said.

    ‘It was just a group of friends having a great weekend together.

    ‘Nowadays nobody walks, they just take a ski lift – and I doubt they could walk up those slopes. 2

    Her three daughters (pictured at a Norwegian ski championship) went on to achieve success in the sport and one won competed in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble and credits her parents for pushing her to make the team

    ‘There were no edges on the skis and we only had leather boots, which I had to clean and dry five pairs of every weekend,’ she said, laughing at the array of expensive skiing gear today’s enthusiasts can buy.

    The difficulty getting to the slopes spurred Mr Jamieson to build, virtually from scratch, the Glenshee Ski Centre in Aberdeenshire, to make their passion accessible to everyone.

    Today it has 27 ski lifts, 36 runs and is billed as one of the best winter sports resorts in the UK.

    ‘He didn’t want it to be just for rich and privileged people – he never took any money from it,’ Mrs Jamieson said. 

    The couple’s infectious love for the sport was passed down to their three daughters as soon as their feet could fit onto a pair of skis, bribing them with sweets to ski farther and farther.

    ‘I didn’t have a choice,’ recalled daughter Helen Somerville, 69, who went on to compete in the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble and credits her parents for pushing her to make the team.

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    Mrs Jamieson has 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, more than a half dozen of whom have won national championships or represented Scotland.

    ‘We were put in the back of the car and mum would drag us up the hill while dad carried the skis.

    ‘We grew up in the ski club and everyone was your family.

    ‘Skiing is born in you and it will always be in you. I couldn’t live without it.’

    Mrs Jamieson has 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, more than a half dozen of whom have won national championships or represented Scotland.

    ‘All of them ski except two who aren’t quite old enough yet but they will as soon as we can fit skis on their feet,’ she said.

    ‘The joke was that you couldn’t be part of the Jamieson family unless you could ski.’

    Source: Daily Mail

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