Bree Van Meeteren, who will be a junior at Lennox High School this fall, is spending her summer at the bay — Catfish Bay to be exact. The sixteen year old had her debut in the Greatest Show on H2O at the Sioux Falls’ Water Ski Park this summer. What makes her story unique is the family connection.
It was in 1996 that her parents Mollie and Wayne met while both were working on the show at Catfish Bay. Catfish Bay is a man made 25 acre private water ski park located in Sioux Falls. It was constructed in 1992 and is located on I-90 near Cliff Avenue. Catfish Bay Water Ski Team is comprised of all ages of skiers ages 4 to over 40. The Ski Club members all volunteer their time for the shows.
Mollie said in 1996 she was the show director and Wayne was skiing. Mollie wrote the shows, came up with dances, and designed the costumes. Back in the mid-90’s the ski shows were quite involved, she said they went to competitions and performed throughout the summer.
Bree was born in 2001 and the first year of her life she was at Catfish Bay often while her parents worked and skied. There was a baby-sitter that would be at practices explained Mollie, a lot of the other skiers would bring their little ones, too.
Van Meeterens found it got to be too much though and retired from the show. It wasn’t until Bree wanted to ski in the show that they came back. Wayne is again skiing with his daughter in the show this summer. As a veteran skier he brings the experience and talent that helps make the show’s stunts flow so smoothly. Mollie said that she is always impressed with how easy he makes the stunts look.
Bree herself has been skiing as long as she can remember. She was skiing by herself at age five, skiing on one ski at age seven and learned to ski barefoot at age nine.
She said, “They say once you can walk, you can ski. I remember before I was in kindergarten we watched all of mom and dad’s friends ski. It’s the norm for us.”
Bree said her god-parents have a cabin at Lake Brandt and the family spends many weekends skiing there. Mollie added her kids have been lucky because some of their best friends are the best of the best skiers around. She said that they always made sure the kids learned safely and were not going to get hurt. The kids learned to ski by hanging on to a boom on the side of the boat.
“Dad used to help us, now I can help people learn,” Bree said.
Skiing with her father has been a great experience Bree said. She spends hours out at Catfish Bay practicing and performs in the show most Friday nights. It’s not only the skiing that appeals to her though.
“It’s a good way to see you guys every week,” she said to her mother, “Me and dad ski, my mom and brothers and sister help.”
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