National Champs - Doug and Rebecca Ribley
Doug and Rebecca Ribley became the Division One National Champions in “Adagio Doubles” at the USA Water Ski Show 2006 and 2007 competition. Doug, the Director of the Wellness Center at Akron General Hospital’s facility in Montrose, has been water skiing for many years. His family became associated with the Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show team nine years ago. Rebecca, now 17, asked her father to become a doubles team when she was six years old. They have been diligently working on their act since then, and were national runners-up in the last two years at the Championships.
They credit their success to their good relationship, hard work, and the fact that they motivate each other. As a father and daughter, they have become closer through the preparation and training required to compete successfully at a national level. Being on a national stage with the top competitors watching is nerve-wracking , but Doug and Rebecca are quick to point out that they have fun. Family support has a lot to do with their success.
Doug’s wife, Jill, works year round on show costumes, fund raising, and works as a safety person during the show season. Sons, Josh (age 10) and Matt (age 20) are also skiers in the shows.
The athleticism required for show skiing is demanding. Doug must lift and twirl Rebecca above his head while on skis. He is attached to the ski rope with a safety harness leaving his hands free for balancing her constantly moving body. Rebecca, meanwhile must maintain her balance while high above the water supported only by her father’s hand. She performs gymnastic and artistic moves which are choreographed to music for almost 5 minutes.
The duo’s talents extend far beyond their doubles success. Doug is the Show director for the Chippewa Water Ski Show Team, and also skis in many other acts. He led the Team to their first National Championship in Division Two in 2004. Rebecca also skis in pyramids, ballet, swivel, and wherever else she is needed.
You can see Doug and Rebecca perform with the Chippewa Lake Water Ski Show Team. Ski shows can be seen locally on Wednesdays through the end of August at Emerald Lake, near the Barberton Speedway, and Labor Day weekend at Chippewa Lake Beach near Medina, Ohio. Shows are free to the public and start at 7 PM (weather and conditions permitting). This is a perfect family event; bring your lawn chairs, sand toys for the kids, and settle back for an entertaining evening featuring some of the region's best skiers.