Posts Tagged ‘groen family’

Georgia Groen, Featured Footer

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Georgia Groen was four-years-old when she set her feet on the water for the first time but she doesn’t remember it. “I got into barefooting because my whole family barefoots,” Georgia said.  When she says her whole family is into the sport, she means it. Ten members of the Groen family all walk on water and they’re quite passionate about the sport. So passionate that they built their own barefooting lake  in New Zealand.

Georgia was eight when she entered her first barefoot tournament.  “I was really excited standing on the dock and just being in a tournament situation,” Georgia recalled. “I think I took 130 points in tricks, and I don’t remember about slalom.”  Georgia remembers what came next: learning to barefoot backwards.  “It was very hard to learn–backwards is very different than forwards–it was hard for me for a while.

As hard as it was to learn to ski backwards, it was even more challenging to learn to jump. “Jumping was the hardest for me. I learned to jump when I was twelve,” said Georgia. “I was really nervous and scared, because my mom had a jump accident.”  Back in 2006, Georgia’s mom, Brenda, crashed head-first into the jump ramp. She spent three months in the hospital and has fully recovered.  Georgia has since learned to approach her jumps with complete confidence and a strong mind.  “If you’re scared, that will control you,” she said. “So forget about being scared and just concentrate. That will keep in you in control.”

During the summer, Georgia is out on the water nearly every day with  her three brothers, Ryan, Mitchell and Tyler.  During the winter months, they pull out the dry suits and continue to ski until they take a month or two off when the cold sets in.  The kids’ dad, Fred, is their coach and driver. “Without my family, I couldn’t be where I am today,” said Georgia.

Before heading out to the 2012 U.S. Nationals and the Worlds, Georgia spent some time at the World Barefoot Center learning how to bring her skills to the next level. Georgia’s cousin, Ben Groen, is one of the instructors at the center.  “Swampy taught me to jump better, I learned all my turns and he taught me some mental control stuff –like to stay humble and to keep trying to better myself,” said Georgia.  Her goal at the 2012 Worlds was to become the Overall Junior Champion and bring home at least one medal in the Open Division.  “The most challenging tournament was this year’s world championship,” she said.  “I competed in two divisions Girls and Womens–and  made it to all the Junior finals and two of the three for the Open.  I took all the gold for the Junior Division and that was awesome.  It was challenging for the Womens Division– I had to fight for that gold in tricks.  I couldn’t believe I did  it until it happened!”

Georgia has some big plans for the future. She wants to become a World Champion in the Womens Division and set a new Junior record in slalom.  “Right now I have one and half more to break it,” she said.  “My best is 14. 4, 16.1 is the record. A  few more to go,  but I will practice. For sure, that’s my goal.”

Georgia in the news:

One News, New Zealand

Otaki Barefooters Land Top Spots

New Girls World Trick Record

Sportswoman of the Year

Emerging Sportswoman Award

The Kapiti Observer: Sportswoman Award

Georgia Smashes Skiing Records

By: Karen Putz