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Starting at 3, Curmi grows into ski, ’board champ
KCHS alum an overall World Masters champ at Louisiana college


Matt Curmi was 3 years old when his father allowed him to take up sports.

This, of course, would not have been much of an abnormality if Curmi were learning to toss a baseball, catch a football or splash around in a swimming pool.

Not the case.

Working his way out of diapers and into kindergarten, Curmi was learning to water ski out of a cove located in his own backyard on Fort Loudoun Lake.


"I wanted to get him started in something positive and healthy," Matt’s father, Dave, said. "I wanted him to have something to do that was unique and special besides the big sports other kids were getting in to."

He was learning and catching on. By the age of seven, Curmi competed in his first competition on the water. Since then, the Catholic High School graduate and soon-to-be senior at the University of Louisiana-Monroe has taking the world of water sports by storm.

In 2000, Curmi won the Junior World and Junior Masters overall championships in the three-event competition, which includes scoring in slalom, trick and jump categories. At Louisiana-Monroe, he was part of two NCSWA national championship teams in 2002 and 2004, where he is currently on scholarship for his water skiing talents.

And when it comes to showing off his talent, Curmi has not limited his adventures to the bayou. "I felt like if he worked hard enough, he could experience some of the great things that he has been able to," said Dave Curmi.

Greece, Mexico and Russia are just some of the exotic locations the 22 year-old Louisville native has been carried to by water-skiing. Curmi recently returned from the FISU World Championships in Russia where he represented the United States with a team of other university students from across the states.

"We flew into Moscow and from their drove down to the river Belakova for our competition," Matt Curmi said. "It was just an awesome experience. Being in college and getting to go over there was a totally awesome experience. You really count your blessings when you’re able to experience such amazing places that some people never get the chance to see."

For now, Curmi has packed away his passport and is enjoying a summer at home on the lakes of East Tennessee — enjoying the sport he loves from both angles.

During the summer months, Curmi joins his father Dave, general manager of Travis Marine, and brother Aaron, 16, himself an accomplished skier, in running a successful ski school out of the cove in the Curmi family’s backyard.

"The motivation [for the school] was to offset the cost of tournament skiing and travel," Dave said. "Matt has consequently become a very good coach on top of being a great skier."

The H2O Ski School, as the Curmi family has named it, is a highly touted operation that has only the need to advertise by word of mouth. "It’s incredible," Matt said. "We fill for summer lessons by March sometimes."

Whether coaching or skiing, Matt Curmi is relishing in the regional lakes that have fed his passion since he was a boy. "I love riding up and down the channel at Fort Loudoun, or going up to Norris [Lake]. It’s unreal finding a great cove up there," Matt said.

Still, with the coaching, traveling and continuous competition at the most intense levels, Matt is able to revert back to why he loves skiing and finds solace in the sport that has surrounded him with fans.

"I did the whole baseball and soccer thing and didn’t really care for it. With skiing, the pressure is all on you and all the work that you do. That’s pretty cool. That’s a lot of pressure tohold and it’s an awesome feeling. “

 

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