The way back to the World Cup
The Samnaun ski racer sees his strengths in perseverance, never giving up and always having the goal clearly in mind. Now and then he lacks patience, after a defeat he sometimes broods too much.
In his free time, Thomas Tumler enjoys playing tennis and hiking. In winter he can also be found on touring skis or sledging. Thomas Tumler lives with his girlfriend in Canton Schwyz, but he can often be found in Samnaun and occasionally helps out in the family business.
His brother Marco is the most important reference person, he supports Thomas in all matters, also in the planning. He is not always there at the World Cup races, but they are in constant exchange. Sometimes Thomas sends his brother video recordings of rides, which they then analyse together. His service man, who also looks after Gino Caviezel, is an important partner. Finally, teammate Marco Odermatt, with whom he shares a room, is another important person in Thomas' life as a ski racer.
At the ski tests in Samnaun in April 2021, his ski company tested the new models. Thomas and his brother Marco are in close contact with the developers of the ski company.
The morning of the race
In the morning you go through the material x times: Do you have everything with you? Inner boot, ski boots, poles, gloves, ski goggles, spare glass, etc. There is a basic tension and nervousness.
During the inspection, you are very focused and try to memorise the route and imagine the ideal line. After the inspection, there is time until the start. You talk about the inspection with your team mates or distract yourself with a card game. Still other athletes like to listen to music or have fun or withdraw. In the classic skiing nations of Switzerland, Austria, Italy or France, the tension before the races is noticeably greater than in the overseas teams, which are more relaxed.
Once his service man had a mishap at the Super-G in Beaver Creek: On the way to the start, the service man fell with Thomas' racing skis on his hump. The race ski got stuck in the snow with the ski tips and was compressed in this fall. The service man panicked because there was no spare ski at hand. So he tried to straighten the ski, which he did not succeed in doing. So he handed Thomas the ski at the start and concealed his mishap. In the race, Thomas finished in an excellent 12th place. At the finish, he told the service man to wax (prepare) the race ski right away for the next race in Gardena-Gröden. Only then did the service man tell Thomas about his mishap. Luckily he didn't know that before the race, otherwise Thomas would certainly not have skied at the same speed with the compressed ski.
Immediately before the start you are very focused and go through the run again. Some athletes talk to themselves. Thomas has no special start ritual. The last 10 seconds are sounded by the start clock. It's a nice moment when it finally starts. As soon as you start, you're in the tunnel and the nervousness is gone.
Thomas Tumler's biggest fan is Kurt Westreicher from Samnaun. He analyses the rides minutely. Thomas is always at the top in sectors, but over the whole race he has lacked luck so far. Thomas can't always judge whether he is going fast: Sometimes the feeling is fast, but the result is not good, and vice versa.
If a driving mistake happens during the race, you want to do even better and make up time. Then you often drive over the limit. Then more mistakes happen or you drop out. You drive even more directly, even more cheekily, and at some point you're off the track.
Thomas to Samnaun
He has seen many ski resorts in the world. There is no other ski area where the slopes are so well prepared, they look like carpets. He likes the variety in the Silvretta Arena Samnaun/Ischgl and also the nature: you can see the chamois right next to the piste. The state-of-the-art transport facilities and pistes are perfectly coordinated and well thought-out, which is unique in the world. Thomas Tumler's favourite piste is Visnitz piste no. 67.
Thomas likes to be in North America, where the ski areas are up to over 3000 metres above sea level in the forest. These are completely different, smaller dimensions compared to Samnaun/Ischgl.
Already at a young age he had a vision
For Thomas, it was clear from a very early age that he wanted to become a ski racer. He was already on skis at the age of two and a half. At the latest when big brother Marco brought home a medal, Thomas could no longer stop marvelling and wanted to become a racer too. His parents played an important role in his ski racing career, for which Thomas is infinitely grateful. After all, they made a lot of effort and invested a lot of time in his career.
The American Bode Miller was Thomas' first idol. Then it became Didier Cuche from Neuchâtel. Roger Federer also inspires him a lot.
Highs and lows
The best moment of his career was the podium finish in Beaver Creek 2018, which actually came out of nowhere. Thomas enjoyed this moment very much. Last winter was the most difficult moment of his career, where he was out due to injury. At times Thomas was in a lot of pain and worried if he would ever be able to race again. You want to keep going, but you ask yourself how to go on.
In the current season he wants to get back into the top 30 and be at the World Cup final. It's also an Olympic season, that's also a topic. It's a long way, but he's taking it. On the way there, he is training 5 to 7 hours a day. Mauro Caviezel won his first World Cup race at the age of 32. Thomas Tumler turned 32 in November 2021. That's a good omen, isn't it? And idol Roger Federer once said "Age is just a number". Anything is possible. Thomas hopes that all the pieces of the puzzle will fit together in the winter of 2021/22.