(born December 15
) is a Venezuelan
-born, professor of exercise physiology at Boise State University
who took up luge
five weeks short of his 45 birthday.
Academic and professional career
Werner Hoeger received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and his Master's degree in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University at the young age of 20. In 1978, at 24 years of age, Hoeger earned his Ed.D.
in exercise physiology, also from Brigham Young University
. He then taught at the University of the Andes in Merida, Venezuela
from 1978 to 1982; the University of Texas of the Permian Basin
from 1983 to 1986, and served as Technical Director of Fitness Monitoring in Rolling Meadows, Illinois
from 1982 to 1983. He joined Boise State University in 1986. He has authored 44 editions of nine fitness & wellness college textbooks. Since 1990, he has been the most widely read author in this field among colleges and universities in the United States.
Competing in two Winter Olympics
, Hoeger earned his best finish of 32nd in the men's singles event at Turin
. At 52, he represented his home country of Venezuela at the 2006 Winter Olympics
. As their only athlete at the games, he carried their flag at the Parade of Nations
. He was the oldest actual competitor at these games. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, competing alongside his son Christopher, they became the only father and son to ever compete in the same event in the Winter Olympic Games.
Hoeger's best finish at the FIL World Luge Championships was 38th in the men's singles event at Nagano in 2004.
Hoeger was born and raised in the city of Merida, Venezuela. His Olympic dream started during the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City. In 1970 at the age of 16, he made the Venezuelan National Gymnastics team and was undefeated as national all-around champion until he retired in 1976. He won 34 of 36 individual national titles during these six years. In the fall of 1970, he was recruited by Brigham Young University and competed there for four years. His dream was to compete in the 1972 Munich
or the 1976 Montreal
Summer Olympic Games. As the only athlete with a chance to qualify for his native Venezuela, he was never given the opportunity to try out for the games. He waited 34 years to fulfill his dream of competing in the Olympic Games. Hoeger is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
. He is married with five children.