In December 2023, the new natural luge track in Kühtai, Austria, successfully held its World Cup premiere. Now comes the crowning moment: The executive committee of the International Luge Federation (FIL) has unanimously chosen Kühtai as the venue for the 2025 Natural Track Luge World Championships at its recent meeting.

Riccarda Ruetz Kühtai

Local hero Riccarda Ruetz at the World Cup 2023

Kühtai (FIL/08.07.2024) – The International Luge Federation (FIL) is working intensively on preparations for the 2024/2025 World Cup season in natural track luge. The highlight will be the 2025 World Championships. Following the successful World Cup premiere last December, the Tyrolean Luge Federation and the RC Kühtai-Sellraintal with president Marco Holzknecht are ready for the big event. From 17th to 19th January 2025, the new world champions in women's singles, men's singles, doubles, and team events will be determined on the natural luge track "Kühtai," completed in the summer of 2021.

The winter sports resort Kühtai (AUT) has previously been a significant venue for the FIL World Cup in natural track luge. Besides numerous "classic" World Cups, a parallel race was also held in what was once Emperor Maximilian I's hunting grounds, always on temporary tracks as there was no permanent luge track. The new permanent track was designed and planned by experts from the Tyrolean Luge Federation (TRV) and the Austrian Luge Federation (ÖRV) and is considered a flagship project – serving both leisure and high-performance sports. The "Kühtai" natural luge track is about 1,300 metres long and starts at the "Graf-Ferdinand-Haus" ski lodge at an altitude of 2,120 metres. The finish is at 1,980 metres at the "Kühtai" high-performance centre in the middle of the ski area. Only the lower part is used as a racing luge track – holidaymakers can use the entire track.

"After the FIL Youth Games in 2022 and the World Cup premiere in 2023, the next step now follows. The Kühtai natural luge track is an exceptionally beautiful facility, considered snow-sure due to its altitude. I am absolutely convinced that we will experience first-class competitions and worthy winners in Kühtai in 2025," says FIL Sport Director Natural Track, Andreas Castiglioni. In Tyrol, anticipation for the championships, co-financed by the state and Innsbruck Tourism, is already growing: "I think it's an excellent idea, after all, it's about a sustainable sports event. The World Championships are definitely a win for Kühtai," emphasises Sports Councillor and Deputy Governor Georg Dornauer (SPÖ).

As part of the World Championships, it is also planned to present the International Luge Federation's (FIL) grassroots sports project, including having luge builders on site to inform all interested parties about luge sports.

The winners of the premiere in December 2023 were Evelin Lanthaler (ITA), Patrick Pigneter (ITA), and Matthias Lambacher/Peter Lambacher (ITA), but at the 2025 World Championships, all eyes will be on local hero Riccarda Ruetz (AUT).