Last week skiing pioneer Hans Grimus and his dog Captain were immortalized with a bronze statue in Mt Buller in the Victorian Alps of Australia.
Hans Grimus came to Australia from his native Austria when he was just 18 years old in 1959. He arrived in Melbourne, Australia, by ship, and was recruited to play soccer for a local team upon arrival. He also worked as a carpenter and was lured to the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme where pay was good, but work was dangerous. Once he arrived in the Snowy Mountains, he was quickly drawn to the ski fields at Mount Buller, where the skiing industry was blossoming. Hans was instrumental in making the Australian ski resort what it is today.
He worked as a lift operator and later general manager of Orange Lifts, one of the first lift operators in Buller, and created much of the lift infrastructure on the mountain himself. Later he acquired a plot of land and opened his own Tyrolean-themed lodge, Pension Grimus, together with his wife Lotte. The hotel is still in operation today.
Hans Grimus was a well known face on the mountain, as was his dog Captain, who followed him everywhere. Hans even made a set of skis for Captain, and taught the dog how to ski, much to the delight of onlookers.
Hans Grimus passed away at the age of 78 in 2018 and is survived by his wife Lotte and his two sons Hannes and Anton. Anton competed for Australia in the 2014 and 2018 Olympics in skier cross.