At the 73rd GOODE Water Ski National Championships held last August in West Palm Beach, Fla., an astonishing 68 percent – or 21 out of 31 – of slalom titles were won on GOODEs. As we enter the off season here in North America, we are going to attempt to interview each of those 21 National champions, because even though they may have all been using the same brand of ski, they all have their own story.
First up is Womens 4 National Slalom Champion Lori Krueger of San Marcos, Texas, who has successfully made the leap from touring pro, to a mother of two who just so happens to keep on winning national and world titles, even if she can’t hit the water as often as she’d like.
How long have you been skiing and how did you get into the sport?
I started skiing at the age of five. My parents lived on a public lake in Decatur, Ill., and wanted to meet some new people so they joined the ski club. Once I started I fell in love with it.
How many Nationals have you previously attended?
Around 30. When I was a pro skier I would miss a few because of other pro tournaments, and then a few injuries got in the way, and then the years I had my children.
How did you prepare for Nationals? Anything different than in the past?
Yes completely! I didn’t get to ski Regionals because I coached the Pan Am Games and so I had only competed in one tournament before Nationals so I didn’t really feel like I had any rhythm and was quite nervous. It felt like I was cramming for a test. I started 3-event training with about two weeks to go.
So given your limited training time, how did it feel to come out on top in West Palm this year?
It felt awesome! I hadn’t really planned on skiing Nationals, then my daughter qualified in Girls 1, so I decided to ski with her. It was fantastic because she skied a PB.
Why do you ski?
Because I love it. The friendships I have made, and the memories from all the great times I have spent on teams or coaching and getting to know people of all walks of life. I love all aspects. If not for water skiing I would be a completely different person!
What’s the most important thing skiing has taught you and/or given you over the years?
Skiing has taught me to compete, keep in shape as I get older, and to continue to help and share my passion for this awesome sport. It is such a family sport, and I came from a skiing family and now my own kids are getting the thrill of skiing.
Who are some people that have been important to your skiing success?
My immediate family for passing on their love of the sport, Brenda Baldwin for letting me live and train with her at a time in my life when I needed it, my husband for financially supporting me and driving, and Trent Finlayson for skiing with me everyday and putting up with me. And to my children for cheering on shore and loving me no matter what. I always seem to be great in their eyes.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank all the sponsors, not just mine, but also all those companies that support our Nationals, grass roots, etc. I don’t think that our ski companies, boat companies, rope companies, etc., get enough credit. They are the reason we still have pro skiing and so many other events. And also for the families that give up so much of their time and energy to their children. I am just now finding out what that is all about. All the hours spent behind the wheel of a boat and all the hours coaching.