Skiing Sensation: Area born teen claims spot as top water skier in the country

Kennedy Hansen, originally from the Hampton area, claimed the American Water Ski Association’s Junior Athlete of the Year last month. Hansen, 15, and her family now live in Florida. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Area native Kennedy Hansen’s journey to the top of the competitive water ski circuit started as a way to cool off in the summer as a young kid.

Hansen, 15, daughter of Kelly (Christiansen) Hansen, a Hampton native and CAL graduate, was recently named the American Water Ski Association’s Junior Athlete of the Year after compiling a list of accolades throughout the year that includes competition wins at the Junior U.S. Open and the Junior World Championship in Spain.

While Hansen has been a competitive skier since she was six years old, her love of the sport started even earlier than that.

“When I was born, we were always around the lake and we just started waterskiing,” she said, adding that her parents and her older brother, Cole, have skied professionally as well. “My brother loved it and growing up, I always wanted to be like my older brother.”

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