The National Nordic Foundation is a non-profit organization that’s mission is to help aid in the development of skiers in the USA both national and internationally, by creating an independent funding source to aid athletes with the high cost of the sport.
The NNF’s goal is to remove financial barriers that hinder our US athletes, due to the lack of funding available. World Cup athletes, World Junior/U23 Teams, U18 Teams, REG Camps, Junior National Teams, Coaches, Clubs and Officials receive funding annually from the NNF. Campaigns such as the Drive for 25, online Auctions and general donations pay for these efforts.
Recently a new partnership has emerged. More stars behind our stars supporting our athletes, helping achieve top results such as with our World Cup Teams, our recent World Junior star Hailey Swirbul and many many athletes. To brighten things up, the NNF has Partnered with Olympian, Garrott Kuzzy owner of Lumi Experiences. Kuzzy and his guests are giving back to the sport by donating a portion of each trip to the NNF. These trips include front line experiences in Europe, cross country skiing, sight seeing, attending races and interacting first hand with the US Ski Team and World Cup Athletes. Read about the most recent trip in Seefeld, Austria and learn about the upcoming trip, attending the World Championships! You don’t want to miss out!
— Joey Caterinichio/NNF
SEEFELD, Austria — The 2018 Lumi Experiences Trip to Tyrol, benefitting the National Nordic Foundation (NNF), wrapped up 10 days in Tyrol, Austria & Italy cheering on the US Ski Team to a double-victory weekend in Seefeld.
In March 2017, the NNF announced a cross country ski trip to the 2018 Dolomitenlauf Worldloppet and the Seefeld World Cup races. By April, all 16 spots on the trip had been filled.
Proceeds of the trip, hosted by Lumi Experiences, totalled over $10,000 and will go to support NNF programming. Lumi Experiences was founded by Garrott Kuzzy. After traveling the world as a member of the US Ski Team and competing in the Vancouver Olympic Games, Garrott has spent the past decade sharing his favorite destinations and experiences through active travel.
The guests on the Trip to Tyrol were supported by two local trip leaders, offering insights into Austrian and Italian culture.
The Dolomitenlauf weekend kicked off with guests taking part in either 42km or 20km events. Some opted instead to watch the Hahnenkamm downhill on Eurosport in a mountain-top bar surrounded by screaming Austrian ski fans. Those who skied the Dolomitenlauf had the luxury of getting their skis waxed for them with HF and powder. A couple of women on the trip skied to age-group podium finishes…a precursor to what they would witness on the World Cup later in the week.
Stop two was Toblach, Italy. Crossing the border beneath Dolomite spires, the group was treated to sunny skies as they perfected their hop-skate technique over the iconic Toblach Nordic Arena. It was hard leaving the Italian cuisine in South Tyrol, but the Seefeld World Cup was calling.
Guests were treated to a brief stop in Kuzzy’s new hometown, Innsbruck, before taking a train to the snow-globe village of Seefeld for the final five nights of the trip. Guests had barely departed the train when they ran into Sophie Caldwell and Matt Whitcomb, out for an evening jog.
The Hotel St Peter, located at the trailhead, offered easy access to the 3+ feet of new snow Seefeld had received in the previous week. Highlights of the first days in Seefeld included a trip to the trailside hut that Andy Newell affectionately refers to as the “Wild Moose.” A trough of schnapps and tray of apple strudel greets visitors.
Guests were also treated to a tour of the new US Ski Team wax truck. US Women’s Team head coach Matt Whitcomb and wax techs shared insights into the new, rolling facility, as well as a few insider wax tips. One unexpected surprise, was the opportunity to forerun the races. Skiers experienced the challenging courses that cannot be captured by simply watching the races from the sidelines. Erik Bjornson chatted with the skiers after his sprint qualifier and thanked them for cheering, saying it’s rare that there are so many US fans on the trail at European World Cups.
The real highlight of the trip was cheering on skiers in the Seefeld World Cup, as Sophie Caldwell skied to victory in the Skate Sprint and Jessie Diggins took the 10km Mass Start Skate win. Guests had the opportunity to share high fives and get photos with skiers afterward the race.
Seeing the US team skiers atop the podium was particularly meaningful, as it represented the results of the hard-work put in by athletes and their coaches. It also represented what the help from the NNF has helped skiers from the US achieve. There were more than one set of watery eyes at the end of the trip, when guests received copies of the new book: World Class: The Making of the U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team by Peggy Shinn, personalized and signed by the women on the US Ski Team as a thank you to guests on the trip.
The Seefeld World Cup was the last big race before the Olympic Games next month in Korea. In 2019, Seefeld will host the Nordic World Championships. Once again, Lumi Experiences will be on site for the 2019 World Championships, hosting two more trips to benefit the NNF. You can sign up to receive information about the World Championships and other cross country ski vacations at: www.lumiexperiences.com. Check out more photos and insights from this year’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram: @lumiexperiences or #lumiexp
“The trip had an exceptionally talented group of trip leaders. It was well planned and full of fun surprises that enhanced the experience. Sledding was a hoot, and skiing to our hotel afterwards was awesome. I love the Dolomites and the Tyrol. Austrian curling was a blast. First class care and attention to detail made this a trip of a lifetime for us.” – Jane & Michael Mandli
“We skied in a gorgeous part of the world. Guides were excellent and fun. It was an incredible experience watching the World Cup racing in Seefeld and meeting the athletes.” – Molly Martinez