Renee, 16, is a sophomore at Duluth High School, Captain of the Junior Varsity
Girls Basketball team, and Vice President of her Class. Renee was also named
Defensive MVP of the Duluth Freshman Basketball Team last year. What a lot of
people around Duluth High don't know is that she can jump over 120 feet, hitting
the ramp at speeds in excess of 50mph! She holds the Georgia State girls jump
and overall records in her age division. To give you an idea of how far ahead
of the competition Renee is, the previous Georgia jump distance record was 101
feet. Renee is currently ranked 5th in the World in girls jumping. She also
placed 3rd in Slalom at the U.S. Nationals this past August in Destin, Florida,
while ending up 5th in jumping and 5th overall. Renee was invited to ski in the
Rolex Junior Masters this past year and was selected as an alternate to the U.S.
National Junior Team. She was a member of the U.S. Team last year.
Regina, 12, is a 7th grader at Duluth Middle School. She plays recreational
league basketball, ice skates, and plays the trumpet in the school band. Regina
has a 4.0 academic average, has been a member of the student council for the
past three years and is currently Secretary of the student council. She has
also served as a volunteer tutor to younger students. However, it is her
achievements on the water that have made her a nationally recognized elite
Regina is the youngest person to ever make the U.S. National Junior Team; she
established U.S. National records over 18 times in a 2 ? year period; 3 time
National Slalom Champion; 2 time National Trick and Overall Champion; and she is
the youngest skier in history to set a National Record (8 years old). She also
holds Georgia State and Southern Regional records in Slalom, Tricks, and
Overall. She is currently ranked 4th in the World in the Trick Skiing event.
Her greatest moment in sports was being selected as a member of the U.S.
National Junior Team this past summer. The National Team is selected at the
U.S. Team Trials each year. The team consists of 12 athletes under the age of
eighteen. As a member of the team, the skiers receive individualized training
from some of the best coaches in the world and participate in a physical testing
program conducted by the United States Olympic Committee under the auspices of
the American Water Ski Association. A training program is developed based on
the data from the testing and monitored by USOC sports physiologists throughout
Both girls train each summer outside of Orlando with their coach, Jack Travers.
He is to Water Skiing what Bela Karoli has been to Gymnastics. Jack has been
the U.S. Team coach several times and runs a world reknown competition training
facility with three custom made lakes. His former students include many former
World Champions and Record Holders, including Camille Duvall and Kim Laskoff.
Living in Atlanta is disadvantageous from the standpoint of being able to train
year round, but the seasonal change gives the girls a chance to focus on other
activities and prevents premature burnout that you often see of athletes that
concentrate on only one activity. Anyway, central Florida is only about 6 ?
hours away by car.
Water skiing will officially be recognized as a Pan American sport by the
International Olympic Committee if all goes as planned at the USOC meeting in
Mid-February. We have been an Affiliated Sport within USOC for the past decade,
so you can imagine our excitement over this next step toward full NGB status.
USOC has funded a program for the past two years for development of increased
female participation in water skiing. This program was administered at clinics
held throughout the country and was organized according to various levels of
skill, from novice to elite athlete.
The governing body of organized water skiing in the United States is the
American Water Ski Association (AWSA) with over 30,000 members. AWSA is a
member organization of the United States Olympic Committee and we receive
funding from USOC just like other recognized sports. The International Water
Ski Federation has active member federations from over 90 countries. Although
very close to finally being recognized as an Olympic sport, it is unfortunate
that we couldn't have been a participant in the games this past summer since
they were in our backyard.
The sport of water skiing consists of three events: Slalom- which is very
similar to its snow skiing cousin; Trick Skiing- more like figure skating on
water instead of ice; and Jumping- just like snow ski jumping.
©Copyright 1996 by Jan Meyer.