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Of all the sports that one would think would be dominated by an athlete from a community known more for its long winters and hockey players, waterskiing does not top the list. The fact that Thunder Bay's Terri Gibbons dominated women's waterskiing in Canada for five consecutive seasons, and represented her country with distinction internationally, makes her an athlete that was truly dedicated to her sport.

Learning to waterski at a young age at her family’s camp she did not let her limited access to equipment and coaching stand in the way of reaching her dreams. Inspired by the athletes that competed at the 1981 Canada Summer Games in Thunder Bay, she continued to train hard and improve her skills.

In 1983, she attended the Ontario Summer Games in Sudbury, her first major competition, returning home with a gold in Slalom and silver in Tricks. Earning one of three spots on the Ontario Team for the 1985 Canada Summer Games, she claimed her first national gold medal in Jumps and a silver medal in Slalom, with her success helping Ontario claim a first-place finish overall in the water skiing competition.

Next up were the 1985 Canadian National Championships where she won double gold in Slalom and Jump and a silver in Tricks, with her outstanding performance earning her the overall national title.

For the next four years she continued her winning ways, claiming consecutive 'Women's One' national water skiing titles. Between 1984 and 1989 she brought home an incredible 25 national medals including 15 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze. In 1992 she added the Canadian Masters Water Skiing Championship overall title to her record.

Selected to represent Canada at the 1987 Asian International Water Ski competition in Singapore, she was the top female overall, winning gold (Jump, Slalom) and bronze (Tricks), leading Canada to 1st place in the Team category in the 10-country competition.

A certified instructor and coach, she operated Gibbie's Water Ski School for close to a decade, passing on her talents to the next generation of athletes and providing programs for persons with special needs, one of the first in the country to do so.

This multi-talented athlete has also competed in such sports as long-distance running and cross-country skiing, and continues to be involved in water skiing on a recreational level as well as coaching and providing leadership in the sport to friends and family.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 29, 2012

Terri Gibbons

Water Skiing
Fort William/Thunder Bay
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