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Teenage water skier from Penticton represents Canada at World Championships in Chile

Kate Pinsonneault has made international waves at water ski competitions since she was 12

Kate Pinsonneault first water skied on Penticton’s Skaha Lake when she was four years old and now more than a decade later, she’ll be doing it on the world stage.

She’ll be out on the waters of South America wearing Canada’s red and white maple leaf at the 2023 World U17 Waterski Championships.

From Jan. 5 to 8, Pinsonneault will be in Santiago, Chile for the international showcase, just one year after capturing a gold medal at the Pan American Waterski Championships in Mexico while competing in the U14 division.

“It’s nerve-racking but also so exciting,” the 15-year-old Penticton Secondary student said from her training grounds in Florida.

Pinsonneault, who also plays hockey for the Okanagan Hockey Academy U17 Prep Team, started water skiing competitively when she was 12 years old. Since then, she’s captured three victories at the B.C. provincials in Williams Lake and finished as a top-three competitor at both the Western Canadian Waterski Championships in Saskatoon and nationals in Edmonton.

In Calgary at another national-based event, she jumped 115 feet in the water. Her personal best, that number is good enough to rank Pinsonneault as the No. 14 water skier in the world for the U17 division.

Pinsonneault is one of just 10 Canadians that will participate in the upcoming South American showcase.

Bringing home some hardware from Chile is a priority for the 15-year-old but beating her personal best is just as important.

“That’s the goal, I want to beat that distance,” she said.

During her first day in South America, Pinsonneault will compete in a qualifying tournament. Her performance early on will determine whether her streak near the top of global leaderboards continues.

On Water Ski Canada’s official website, the Penticton athlete is listed as an “independent skier” ahead of the U17 championships in Chile.

READ MORE: Canada set to begin quest for 20th gold medal at world juniors