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Women Water Skiers Ride the Wave of Success

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LILLINGTON — When the U.S. Professional Tour dropped women water skiers from the lineup five years ago for "lack of public interest," a group of women formed their own tour. That tour will be making waves in North Carolina this weekend.

In 1995, professional skiers like April Coble of Lillington helped form the "Women of Water Sports," nicknamed WOW.

"We started with nothing," Coble says. "We started with a big desire, a bunch of pro skiers who were about to lose everything."

Five years later, they are riding a wave of success.

"In the last month, there have been three world women jump records broken. Women are pushing it to the limits," Coble says.

One of the reasons given for dropping women from the U.S. Pro Tour was that they do not look good on TV.

With the precision of a race car driver, professional skier Lori Krueger prepares to make a big jump into the air and an even bigger one into the public eye.

"Everybody has seen what we can do, and that we are marketable, and that we are very good athletes," Krueger says.

Now, the U.S. Pro Tour has invited women to return. This gives up-and-coming skiers hope for a brighter future.

"We've got just as much to show as the men. We're good skiers. We own all our own stuff. We should be there, be there with the guys," says Kelly Bowen.

You can watch the WOW tour Sunday at the April Coble Ski School in Lillington from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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