Megan Pelkey wins gold in overall, helps Team Canada to top of podium
By: Remy Greer - Remy Greer is the assistant editor and sports reporter for Okotokstoday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 28, 2021 7:45 AM
A Foothills water skier brought home a medal of every colour from a work-trip to Mexico.
Foothills County resident Megan Pelkey earned three individual medals and helped Team Canada to its top spot on the podium in a star turn at the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) Pan American Waterski Championship, held Nov. 4-7 in Boca Laguna, Mexico.
“It was really fun and really great to meet people from all of the different countries,” she said. “Just a really awesome experience overall and I’m so honoured to represent Canada and to help the U14 team win gold.”
Pelkey took gold in overall — encompassing the three disciplines of slalom, trick and jump — after taking silver in jump and bronze in slalom.
“I felt confident and just wanted to do what I do in practice and just stay calm,” she said. “I was training in Florida for about two months before this and I just made sure to have a positive attitude, to try my best every training set to prepare for this tournament.”
The 15-year-old was second in the trick category through preliminaries, but fell in the final to finish out of the medals.
Her strong score in preliminary along with her two medal performances contributed to U14 Team Canada’s gold medal in the competition.
Pelkey, the 2019 Canadian Air Force award winner and multi-medallist at nationals, is getting more and more accustomed to the pressure cooker of large-scale competition.
“I’m kind of nervous, but I can focus on what I need to do and the nervousness just goes away,” Pelkey said. “I try to take the pressure off myself as much as I can.
“I usually visualize and just remember my routine before I go. I like to do a little bit of a warm-up to make sure my heart rate is ready.
“I have this mindfulness routine where I walk around wherever I am and just take in the surroundings. I think that calms me down and gets me more prepared to ski.”
The PanAm event was originally scheduled to be held in 2020 and was postponed due to the pandemic. The U14 teams were based on the age of the athletes at the time the event was originally slated, allowing for 15 year olds like Megan to compete at the U14 category.
The championships will be held again in 2022 as it runs on an every two-year schedule. Also on the horizon for the elite water-skiers is the U17 World Championships, being held in Chile in 2023.