The name John Bauer hasn’t been heard much around the elite circuit lately, but less than a decade ago, Bauer was kicking ass and taking names atop results lists across the country and around the world. Bauer represented the United States at the 1992, 1998, and 2002 Olympic Games, turning out some of the best individual finishes ever by an American. In 1996, Bauer became the second skier in history to sweep every event at U.S. Nationals.
Lately, however, Bauer’s life consists of a lot less time on his skis and a lot more time with his children. Living in Hayward, Wisconsin, Bauer is the primary caregiver for his two youngsters. Bauer takes care of two-year-old son Bryce and daughter Anneliese, who will turn seven shortly, while his wife works full time.
In addition to being a loving husband and devoted father, Bauer takes on patients for a few rolf sessions each week. Rolfing is a method of deep body work that focuses on connective tissues, realigning and balancing the whole body, helping people to stand straighter and move more efficiently.
After being treated with rolfing for a series of overuse injuries in his knees and ankles from 1992 through 1994, Bauer became a firm believer in the method. He was certified as a rolf practitioner in 2002.
Bauer retired from professional skiing after the summer of 2005, feeling that his training wasn’t going well enough to continue. “Maybe I retired a bit too soon,” he mused in an interview with FasterSkier, “but now I can go out and I know what I need to do. That’s the benefit of being in skiing for so long, and now there’s no pressure.”
But once a skier always a skier, and Bauer remains very involved in the nordic community. Still racing occasionally for Rossignol’s marathon team, Bauer competes in the Birkebeiner, the Hills Classic, the Great Bear Chase, and the Mora Vasaloppet.
He also conducts clinics for Toko wax and acts as a personal coach, taking athletes out for individual technique sessions. Prior to the birth of his son, Bauer coached a club of five or six people and is considering starting up again for the coming season.
“I’m still very involved in skiing, I’m just not traveling the whole circuit,” says Bauer. “Skiing is a little bit addicting.”