Bragg Creek water skiier going to Chile for world championships | will it snow in florida

Pelkey has been water skiing competitively since 2017 and has been training in Florida since 2019.

As a 16-year-old living in Orlando, Florida in a house with a group of other like-aged kids who waterski every day in 20 degree Celsius and constant sunshine, it’s hard to miss being in Bragg Creek for Christmas.

But Megan Pelkey admits it’s hard to be away from her parents and three younger sisters for the first time ever – even with the 50-degree gap on the thermometer between their two locations.

The level-headed 16-year-old doesn’t say winning is her only goal at the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) World Under 17 Water Ski Championships coming up Jan. 5 in Chile where she will be competing in slalom, tricks, and jump.

“That would be great. But my goals are to have fun and ski my best. And if skiing my best I’m able to win, then I’m good with that, too,” Megan said.

Pelkey recently placed first overall, second in tricks and jumps, and fourth in slalom at the 2022 IWWF Pan American Water Ski Championships, which were held in in Santiago, Chile.

Pelkey has been water skiing competitively since 2017 and has been training in Florida since 2019.

Bob Pelkey said his daughter took to the sport pretty quickly after she first stepped into the bindings at the age of 10 at their family cabin at Kootenay Lake in B.C.

“I said to my wife, ‘You know, we should put Megan in a tournament’ and she never had any training or anything, and she just loved it, she thought it was the best,” Bob said.

Megan’s just one of four Pelkey girls who keep the family jumping.

As Bob describes Megan’s past training locations, he notes that he was near one of them last week. He said Megan spent some time training at the Shalom Water Ski facility just outside Edmonton last summer.

“They run a water-skiing facility near where the snow skiing place, Rabbit Hill is . . . I was just  there a week ago with another daughter downhill ski racing. They do all this stuff, it’s crazy,” he said.

“We’re just super busy running around doing all this stuff.”

And now he’s excited about meeting her in Chile next month for the world championships, where she has a chance to be the best.

Canadian team coaches are teaching Megan and her team-mates at the privately-run training facility in Orlando, where she is billeted in a house run by Water Ski Canada.

The Pelkeys have three daughters younger than Megan, all of whom are active in some kind of athletics.

“Oh yeah, we have a whole ton of ‘em,” Bob said with a laugh.

Sofia, 11, Sarah, 13, and Rebecca, 15, are all active at some level. They all downhill ski and all but Rebecca water ski as well. Rebecca won silver in the slalom at the U16 Canadian downhill ski championships in Quebec last year.

Following in their oldest sibling’s footsteps, Sofia and Sarah compete in water skiing.

Bob Pelkey doesn’t point to any one thing the family did to lead the kids into competing, other than starting them early.

“I basically started them snow skiing when they could speak to me, so I’d know if they were frozen or not,” he said.

Sofia started downhill skiing the earliest – at two-and-a-half years old, when Bob strapped her into a harness he could grab onto so she wouldn’t fly away down the hill.

It wasn’t long before she was searching out jumps, including one called Betsy at Lake Louise, where she reported back to her dad after the initial flight, “I face-planted, dad, I popped my ski off!”

In an interview with The Eagle, Sofia can be heard in the background correcting her dad on some of the background details about the girls.

“I have four, so my brain is packed sometimes,” Pelkey said with a laugh.

They’re all athletic and competitive.

But it’s Sofia who stands out as the one who has her sights set clearly on matching (or exceeding) the heights already reached by Megan.

She didn’t hesitate to talk to The Eagle when given the chance. She had the same clear and concise response to all three questions, about whether she was going to catch up to, equal, and exceed her older sister’s accomplishments in water skiing.


Megan was not surprised at her little sister’s ‘prediction.’

“Wow,” Megan said with a laugh. “That’s very nice. I like her enthusiasm.”

Long term, Pelkey said she’s looking to maybe getting a scholarship to water ski at a college in the U.S. in someplace like Florida or Arizona. Florida Southern College apparently has a good water-skiing program.

Sofia is also Megan’s biggest fan and wishes she would’ve come home for Christmas.

Her mother Sandra said while all the girls are athletic, Sofia has a little bit of a different personality.

“They’re different age groups so they don’t compete against each other, but Sofia’s definitely a go-getter,” Sandra said.

“She’s all-in, or nothing. There’s no in-between or grey area.”

Sandra was a competitive diver who was asked to train with the national team in Grade 9, but didn’t pursue it. She played soccer at the university level, and still plays on a team.

She said she’s happy now “living vicariously” through her four girls’ athletic exploits.

As the sisters continue to compete, the Bragg Creek family is starting to consider how to maybe attract some kind of sponsorships to help offset the ongoing training and travelling costs. For now, it’s on to Chile for the world championships.

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