French pro Ambre Franc admits that at the beginning of the 2016 season, something was “missing.” Well, after a strong finish that saw her claim a University Worlds title and land a No. 3 ranking in Europe and No. 8 in the world, it’s safe to say she found “it.”
We recently had the chance to talk with Ambre about her year, the big win in Japan and what finally clicked in 2016.
How did you get your start in the sport?
Water skiing has always been a family sport. My mother and aunt were both on the French national team for years, and my uncle held some European records for a while. I finally tried around ten and never looked back. I really enjoyed it and had the opportunity to train in Florida with some great skiers. Of course, I was late compared to other kids my age, so I had to train harder than others, but it was worth it.
Where do you live and train today?
After three years in Florida studying at Florida Southern College, where I was able to ski every day anytime I wanted, I decided to come back to Paris to start Nutrition School. I now train during the week in Gravon on my uncle’s lake, Aqu’aventure, and on weekends I usually ski with Vincent Soubiron in Toulouse.
You are part of a growing number of foreign athletes coming to the U.S. to ski on collegiate teams. What was your experience like at Florida Southern College, in particular, and in the U.S. in general?
Living abroad was a wonderful experience. Facilities for athletes are incredible, especially for water skiers. I enjoyed the whole life over there. Being able to study, train and represent my University was a very rewarding experience.
Last month in Japan you the University World Championships. How special was that to you?
That is obviously a great achievement that I’m really proud of. Especially since the beginning of my season was so disappointing. Fortunately, I found what I was missing around May: a ski that suits me. The RéV 6 really got me back on track and allowed me to recover my confidence behind the boat. I managed to get a new PB of 3 at 39 twice in a row. The win in Japan was the confirmation of my recovery on that ski, not only because winning always feels special, but this tournament only happens every four years, so it’s a hard title to get.
Who has been inspirational to your success?
My whole entourage has been helpful in my success: my family, friends, boyfriend and coaches. This summer was particularly long with this University Worlds in mid-September, including weeks away from home, switching hotels, lakes, boats and so on. Having people around me to keep me on track was important to me.
What was the most beneficial thing you ever did for your skiing?
Finding a balance between skiing, training, working out, school, family and time with friends.
What are your goals in the sport?
Professional events are becoming more important to me lately, but a European or World title is still the target for me.
How about in life?
I recently started Nutrition school because I want to become a certified nutritionist so I can work with athletes as well as people with diseases like cancer.
Anything else you’d like to mention?