Werner Hoeger is a professor emeritus (active) of exercise science at Boise State University. He has published 58 editions of Fitness & Wellness college textbooks. He is one of the most widely read fitness and wellness college authors in the United States. He was the first author to write a college-level fitness book to incorporate the wellness concept with the publication of Lifetime Physical Fitness & Wellness: A Personalized Program in 1986 (now in its 13th edition, Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2015). His title Fitness & Wellness (Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2015, 11th edition) is a concise book for introductory courses and for the general public that provides the necessary guidelines to enhance health and quality of life through a comprehensive fitness and wellness program. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and also of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. A gymnast in his youth who later took up the sport of luge and participated in two Olympic Winter Games (2002 and 2006).
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 in Odessa 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.
Practicing what he teaches, he took up the sport of luge five weeks short of his 45 birthday. Competing in two Winter Olympics, Hoeger earned his best finish of 32nd in the men's singles event in Turin in 2006. At 52, he represented his home country of Venezuela in 2006. 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 Olympic Winter Games.
Hoeger was born and raised in the city of Mérida, 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. Subsequently in 2011, he raced in the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California, USA. He raced in the 800, 1,500, and 5,000 meter events. Hoeger is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is married with five children and now eight grandchildren.