Josef Haas was 24 years old when he achieved his first major success (third in the Swiss national championships) as a cross-country skier, and did not join the Swiss national team until he was 29. He participated in his first World Championship in 1966 and won his first national championship the following year. His biggest success, however, came at the 1968 Winter Olympics, where he won a bronze medal in the 50 km event, which was Switzerland’s first Olympic medal in cross-country skiing. He also finished 18th in the 15 km and fifth in the 4 x10 km relay alongside Konrad Hischier, Alois Kälin, and Flury Koch. Haas attended agricultural school in his youth and developed a career in that field during and after his athletic days.