By Garrott Kuzzy
In March 2016, I took a short train ride from my home in Innsbruck, Austria to Seefeld. My former coach, Bryan Fish, was at the Europa Cup finals with a group of athletes from the US. I wanted to catch up with Bryan and help test wax for the team. While the skiers were racing, we discussed the opportunity to ski race in Europe. Thanks to the National Nordic Foundation, these racers trying to make the jump to the World Cup were able to receive world-class support.
But these elite athletes are not the only ones who should be able to ski in Europe with first-class waxing and support. What if we share that experience with other skiers as well? Lumi Experiences was born. Lumi is the Finnish word for snow. As the name suggests, Lumi focuses on travel to experience winter in some of the world’s most spectacular places.
Our first Lumi Experiences trip brought a group of skiers from the US to compete in the Dolomitenlauf Worldloppet ski marathon in Austria. We also skied the famous Via Ferrovia railroad trail from Cortina to Dobbiaco, Italy, and cheered on the US Ski Team athletes in the Seefeld World Cup. Skiers on the trip had the opportunity to forerun the course before Sophie Caldwell and Jessie Diggins went on to win their respective races in the last World Cup competition before heading to the 2018 Olympic Games. That was a fitting conclusion to the trip that was inspired a year earlier on the same trails in Seefeld. The trip also raised over $10,000 for the National Nordic Foundation to help support junior skier development in the US.
As Lumi grows, we are excited to share more opportunities with travelers from North America. Our 2020 trip to the Marcialonga in Italy is already full, but there are other trips that give skiers the opportunity to bump elbows, literally, with athletes on the World Cup.
Did you know that US Ski Team skiers don’t shake hands in the winter? No. To stay healthy, they bump elbows when they greet friends and meet people. It looks like everyone is doing the chicken dance.
For 2020, Lumi is offering three trips that include chicken dancing at the World Cup:
First, the City Sprints in Dresden where athletes ski past the VIP grandstand 72 times on the team-sprint day (yep, count ‘em!);
Second, the pre-World Championships World Cup in Oberstdorf (did you know the World Championships are not the same as the World Cup?);
Third, the Minneapolis World Cup, the first on US soil since 2001 (this one isn’t even on the Lumi website yet--you heard if here in our Stories first! … send us a message if you’d like to be first to receive the itinerary). In the video below, Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall previews the course for the Minneapolis World Cup.
Check out www.lumiexperiences.com to learn more. Sign up by May 31 to save $200 on any trip. Also, what travel tips are you interested in hearing? I’ll be sharing more insights on ski travel in the coming weeks and months. See you on the trail soon! - Garrott
PS. For those Shakespeare fans out there who caught the title to this post, you can visit the city of the Capulets and Montagues on the post-trip of our Dolomitenlauf-Marcialonga trip.