Kim McKenney

President & Founder
BSc Zoology, MSc Neuroscience, NCCP Trained CCI-L2T, Coach Developer-Facilitator

Welcome to Nordic Ski Lab! I’m Kim McKenney, a Canadian cross-country ski coach and founder of Nordic Ski Lab.

The Nordic Ski Lab demo athletes compete on the World Cup and even at the Olympics. Their skate and classic techniques are graceful and efficient.

That’s the kind of skiing I aspire to, but I came to it later in life, learning as an adult, not as a young competitor.

I would not say I’m an expert skier, but I am an expert at being an adult learner and I figured out enough about technique that it looks like I grew up racing. You can do that too. Our videos can help.

Video is a powerful learning tool because it allows detailed observation and in depth understanding. You can study expert technique with our videos at your own pace, in the comfort and warmth of your home. When you’re outside, you’re skiing, not listening to someone talk about skiing. A guide to expert technique is visually imprinted in your mind.

If I have a super power, it’s that I’m good at breaking down movements into tiny pieces and gradually rebuilding them. I’m good at understanding movement, figuring it out for myself and explaining it to others. Check out our YouTube videos to see if my teaching style works for you.

My Skiing Journey

I grew up cross-country skiing in Ontario. After school, my friend Cathy and I would strap on our skis and head out onto the golf course behind our street. I had exactly one cross-country ski lesson, on a frozen lake at a winter camp in Algonquin Park.

In adulthood, I moved to Calgary to pursue my masters in neuroscience. Now closer to the Rocky Mountains, I rediscovered my love of cross-country skiing with my husband, but mostly in the backcountry.

Life twisted and turned, and one day our children joined a local ski club. This was my introduction to the world of competitive cross-country skiing – an important milestone in my life.

I had never seen people classic ski like that and I knew nothing about skate skiing. I was immediately hooked and wanted to learn everything I could.

Over the years I went to hundreds of races, gradually developing an eye for technique and slowly decoding the art of competition-style cross-country skiing.

Eventually I got into ski instruction and coaching, which I’ve been doing for about 15 years. I enjoy working with both kids and adults.

Nordic Ski Lab’s Origin

I co-founded Nordic Ski Lab in 2016, along my son, Kai Lukowiak, who raced back in the day and is now a data scientist, and Chris Jeffries. (Initially the website was XC Ski Nation.)

Chris Jeffries is a former member of the Canadian National Team. He retired after competing at the Turin Olympics, coached university-aged athletes for many years, and is currently the High Performance Director of Nordiq Canada, our national sport organization.

Chris provided important technical leadership in our early years. He’s no longer officially with Nordic Ski Lab, but his legacy lives on and you’ll see him in many of our videos.

Our first demo athletes were the Olympians, Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt and Ivan Babikov. Olivia still skis competitively and has worked for Nordic Ski Lab since our inception. You’ll see her beautiful skiing in the majority of our videos.

Over the years the Nordic Ski Lab team expanded; we now showcase the talents of many top athletes. I lean heavily on these athletes to stay current and continue learning.

There are so many ways to enjoy the sport of cross-country skiing. You can call what we teach at Nordic Ski Lab “race technique”, “competition-style” or “performance skiing”. It’s not the only way to ski for fun, but it’s my favourite.

If you like learning with videos and want to ski with the efficient and graceful techniques used by the pros, Nordic Ski Lab will probably be a good fit for you.

Have more questions? Check out the FAQs .

Happy Skiing!