Since 2016, FIS SnowKidz has featured an in-house mom on its website. Kristen Lummis a.k.a. The Brave Ski Momhas looked into various topics surrounding snow sports from the perspective of a parent. Her articles on SnowKidz have garnered a strong following and now she has looked into a question that many have pondered “Why are FIS World Cups awesome for families?”
To answer this question, Kristen visited the recent North American stops of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour. Here is what she found:
It’s Free!: FIS World Cups are one of the few premier sporting events where families don’t have to shell out big bucks for tickets. Some resorts, like Killington, offer premium tickets that come with perks like special seating, parking and catered meals. But for most families just showing up, scoring a place in the stands and absorbing the action is a perk unto itself.
It’s Inspiring: Watching competitions on TV is fun and exciting, but watching these races in person offers a greater appreciation for the athletes. Being at a race gives new perspective on the steepness of the runs, size of jumps, the difficulty of the courses and the sheer speed some athletes will reach.
While you’ll need lift tickets for most events, we think it’s worth it, especially if you have kids who are junior competitors who aspire to one day be professionals.
It’s International: During the World Cup Championships at Beaver Creek in 2015, our family rode a chairlift with an Austrian Olympic gold medallist. He was friendly and happy to chat with our sons. We were in awe, both of his accomplishments and the shocking size of his downhill skis. Only at World Cup races will you find this kind of personal access to the athletes.
At the end of the day we ran into the Austrians again. This time, it was the Austrian fans who had taken over a slope side restaurant, imported a band and were teaching everyone else, from toddlers to grandparents, how to après-ski.
With clanging cowbells, flags, banners and a multiplicity of languages, the world comes to World Cup ski racing, even in North America.
It’s Kid-Friendly: At an FIS World Cup, no one is going to tell your children to be quiet, sit down or get out of the way. In fact, organisers go out of their way to make the events fun for children. Organisers emphasize having fun, sharing the thrill of competitive skiing and snowboarding and growing a new generation of enthusiastic skiers and snowboarders.
Happenings for children vary by resort, but can include autograph and photo sessions just for kids, special activities and snacks in Kid Zones, and even discounts on lift tickets and lessons.