Home » Lussi retires, reflects on career | News, Sports, Jobs – The Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Lussi retires, reflects on career | News, Sports, Jobs – The Adirondack Daily Enterprise

by Arifa Rana

Apr 16, 2022
Lake Placid native Nina Lussi soars through the air during the Olympic Team Trails in Lake Placid on Dec. 25, 2021. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)
LAKE PLACID — Nina Lussi’s ski jumping career ended in the same place where it began.
Lussi, a 28-year-old Lake Placid native, announced her retirement from women’s ski jumping following the conclusion of the two-day International Ski Federation Continental Cup in Lake Placid on March 26. She finished her final competition by earning fourth and seventh place.
“I really wanted to end on my own terms and I especially wanted to be healthy and not have to go through another injury or have some reason that made that decision for me,” Lussi said. “I looked at the schedule and ending with the North American Continental Cup Tour sounded pretty great to me. Especially having Lake Placid being the last event — to jump in front of family and friends was pretty special.”
Lussi started ski jumping when she was 8 years old. She fell in love with the sport. When she first started, she said she didn’t dream of making the Olympics. At the time, women’s ski jumping wasn’t even an Olympic sport.
Despite women’s ski jumping not becoming an official Olympic sport until the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Lussi never gave up on her passion.
“I was around in 2010 when they tried to make a lawsuit to have the women’s ski jumping in Vancouver and when that failed, I definitely experienced that,” Lussi said. “I was there when they (got) the first World Championships started. I got to be there through that whole development.
“It’s really, really amazing to see how far the sport has come since then. Every year there were more and more competitive jumpers and they were jumping on larger hills,” she added. “It’s not as easy to recognize this from the outside, but being on the inside and competing through the years, it’s really impressive the women around the world raising the bar.”
In March of 2013, Lussi earned her first career top 10 finish in the Continental Cup. A year later, she won the Continental Cup in Falun, Sweden.
“If you ask anyone who has ever won an international competition, when you hear the national anthem being played and you’re standing on the top of the podium, that’s the best (moment),” Lussi said. “Unfortunately, it happened to me only once.”
Lussi won two national championships in the fall of 2017, in the HS90 and Nordic combined competition in Lake Placid.
Lussi said that winning the national championships, along with finishing in first place at the Continental Cup, were two memories that really stood out to her in her career.
A few months after winning two national championships, Lussi was right in the hunt to earn a trip to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. But while competing in the United States Olympic trials in December 2017, Lussi fell in her second jump and suffered a torn ACL, effectively ending her season and her chance at competing in the Olympics.
Lussi ultimately was sidelined for 13 months before competing again, and at that point had moved on to the World Cup stage.
During the Olympic trials in Lake Placid in December 2021, Lussi took sixth place in the women’s ski jumping competition and missed out on the chance to go to the 2022 Olympics.
“One of my big goals for this season and my career has been to go to the Olympics. I knew going into this season I wanted to give it my all,” Lussi said. “I had a pretty alright year, I ended up securing a spot for the U.S. team for the Olympics, which was great. Unfortunately, I didn’t fill that spot.”
Despite the past, Lussi was solid in the final month of her career showcasing how great of a ski jumper she is. Lussi earned four top 10 finishes in the North American Continental Cup series, including taking home a silver medal on March 12 on the same ski jumping hill she tore her ACL on.
Lussi, who graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in business administration, said she isn’t exactly sure what she wants to do next.
She said she’d love to stay in sports in some capacity, but not as a coach. She added that she might be interested in marketing or sports management.
“We’ll see, I can’t even tell you where in the world I want to be,” Lussi said. “Ski jumping has been such a big part of my life for a long time, I’ve got to know how things work and how to schedule training and how to map out the blocks for the year. Looking at the future and not having as rigid of a schedule is a little bit intimidating.”
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