Katie O’Connor is an alum of the University of Kansas Waterski Team and calls it the best aspect of her college career!
Favorite Event: Trick skiing got me started, but I love all three!
Describe your ski team experience: The KU Waterski team was the best aspect of my collegiate career. The team provided support both on an off the water. Competing all over the country allowed me to meet many new people and see new places. I enjoyed getting to know the other teams and travel to see them in the off seasons. Collegiate skiing built a great network all over the country.
What are you doing now: I am currently teaching first grade in Kansas City, Missouri.
Favorite Memory: My most memorable moment was walking out of the water after my final collegiate trick pass at nationals in Texas. After standing up my run I was immediately chased down and embraced by my team and all of our ski parents. I broke into tears. Grateful for my team and experience, yet sad it was over.
Any advice for current skiers? Enjoy it while it lasts. Take time to have team bonding events in the off season and enjoy meeting new friends at tournaments!
How can we get more college students involved in the sport? Three event water skiing is very expensive. Collegiate skiing gives access to this high dollar sport at an accessible rate. Post graduates, hired or not, can barley afford all their own gear, let alone a ski boat and private lake. There is no way I would be able to continue skiing given my current financial position. I am thankful to have my family involved in the sport, giving me the opportunity to continue competing. Many collegiate skiers are drawn to the sport in college and immediately lose interest when they can no longer ski on a team. Three event skiing needs to provide more club lake options. Club lakes give more people the chance to ski, while sharing the costs of ski boats and lake up keep.
If you would like to be featured in our Alumni Spotlight series, please reach out to me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.