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Boot Pioneer Bob Lange, 74, inventor of the modern ski boot, died this summer in his Boulder, Colo., home. After skiing in surplus army boots in 1948, Lange vowed to improve the fate of skiers' feet. Lange's breakthrough came in 1963 when he developed the first molded plastic boot, which improved edge control so radically that European teams tried to have it banned. Last season, Lange athletes earned 60 percent of all World Cup points: the inventor's ultimate legacy.

Not-As-Golden Years The difference between youth and maturity is the difference between knowledge and wisdom. The Aspen Skiing Company hopes its older customers have the wisdom to accept its new no-free-skiing policy for skiers 70 and over. Starting this season the resort will charge $99 for a senior season pass. Vail has the wisdom to let Aspen break trail with the elders but may follow suit.

Dot-Com Olympics If you want tickets to the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, you'd better act fast and you'd better be online. The first tickets go on sale Sept. 6 in a charity auction at SaltLake2002.com. Online ticketing runs Oct. 10-Dec. 12; alpine event prices range from $35-$95. Postal orders also will be accepted, but will include a surcharge. Phone orders (801-212-2002) don't start until June 2001, while anyone who wants to walk up to a ticket window must wait until January 2002-if any seats remain.

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