Lou Batori is a guy who is pushing the upper boundary of NASTAR skiing, literally. At 100 years old, he’s the oldest NASTAR racer. Ever.
“When I first became NASTAR conscious the top limit was 70+,” he says.
“I was racing against 70 year olds when I was 80. 10 years makes a big difference, especially when you’re our age. They established an 80+ category, then 90+. Now it’s 95+ and I’m hoping they’ll establish the 100+.”
Batori stated racing NASTAR in the early eighties, when he and his wife moved to Michigan after living in New York for many years. He says that they’d been active in club skiing in New York, but didn’t know anything about NASTAR until he got to Michigan. “The first race I entered I placed and was quite pleased. I won a bronze and from then on it seems to have grown on me,” he says.
Last season he still skied about once a week at Crystal Mountain, with the same group of senior skiers he’s skied with for the last twenty years. They have an annual get together, with some racing involved, every year at Nub’s Nob.
This winter, he says he’s expecting to race again. “I plan to race, I take it as a matter of normalcy that I plan to ski this season,” he says. “If I’m able to ski and perform then obviously I’ll be racing. But I won’t be able to tell until I click my skis on and stand on top of the hill and see what happens. That is the proof of the pudding isn’t it?”
Batori says that NASTAR has grown a ton since he first started, but that he’s never considered quitting. He sees skiing and racing NASTAR as one in the same. If he’s skiing and the weather and course look good, he’ll take a NASTAR run.
Plus, being in the 95+ club, even if you’re the only one, does have some benefits. Batori once rode the chairlift with a teenaged boy who noticed the 95+ patch on his sleeve. When he asked about it, it became clear that he thought Batori belonged to a very exclusive club: skiers who go faster than 95 m.p.h. “I didn’t say anything, because I knew he was going to tell his buddies about me,” Batori says.