AMESBURY — When most people reach their 80s, they usually take it easy, go someplace warm and maybe play golf in their free time to stay fit, if they’re able.
Alphonse Sevigny? He heads up to the mountain and hits the slopes like a man half his age.
Even at the age of 83, the Amesbury resident remains an active competitor in the national masters circuit, and over the past few years he’s developed a well-earned reputation as one of the country’s top masters skiers.
This past season he dominated his age group, sweeping the men’s Class 12 at the 2014 Phillips 66 U.S. Alpine Masters Championships at Okemo, Vt., by winning gold in the downhill, giant slalom and slalom events. He was one of only two competitors in the men’s field to win all three.
As a result of his efforts, Sevigny was recently named Men’s Masters Skier of the Year by Ski Racing Magazine, and then last week he received word that he will be this year’s recipient of the Al Sise Outstanding Masters Award, one of the highest honors a masters skier can earn.
You would think that Sevigny’s accomplishments are a result of a lifetime of training and preparation, but the way he tells it, that’s not the case at all. Sevigny only began skiing when he was in his 50s, and he didn’t begin competing regularly until around 1999, by which point he was already in his late 60s.
“I had friends I worked with who were skiing, and eventually they talked me into going with them,” he said. “I learned to ski, stuck with it, did a few races and eventually we had a senior race at Whiteface Mountain in New York, I think that was held in 1999, and from there somebody told me I should join the masters. So I did and started racing after that.”