Ed Pauls, whose NordicTrack fitness machine is credited with helping improve the health of millions around the world, has died at the age of 80. He reportedly suffered complications from Alzheimer’s.
A cross-country skier, Ed Pauls had the idea for the NordicTrack in the 70s. He had been working as an engineer for the Rosemount company, but after a day out in the snow he began to imagine a skiing simulator. The resulting machine was constructed out of wood slats, pulleys and wires.
Sales were slow until Olympic silver medalist Bill Koch gave his endorsement. Through the 80s, the NordicTrack machine really took off, and in 1986 Ed Pauls sold the machine for $22m. The NordicTrack machine subsequently became even more successful, although the late 90s were arguably a difficult time for the equipment.