Traveling mom Camille Duvall started water skiing when she was just 4 years old and won her first water ski tournament when she was 6.
When she retired 30 years later, “The Golden Goddess” of professional water skiing had raked up hundreds of thousands of miles on the road and more titles in slalom than all other female water skiers combined. Sports Illustrated named her one of the 100 Greatest Female Athletes of the 20th century. She was a 15-time National Champion, 43-time Pro Tournament Champion, five-time Masters Champion, five-time Coors Light Pro Tour Slalom Grand Prix Champion and the 1985 World Slalom Champion. And the Women’s Sports Foundation gave her its President’s Award in 2000.
In addition to being a professional athlete and mom, Camille is an industry consultant, businesswoman, model, reporter and producer for ESPN, Fox Sports, MSG Network, Oxygen Sports and Lifetime TV. At one time, Camille owned a water ski training center with her World champion brother, Sammy Duvall and she was the first woman to be named as a coach of the US Water ski team. She is the author of Camille Duvall’s Instructional Guide to Water Skiing and a former member of the board of the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Today, she uses her married name, Camille Duvall-Hero, and is a top real estate broker New York City where she lives with her husband, Byron, and two children: Alexander, who is about to head off to college, and Gabrielle, who will be a freshman high school in the fall. She also handles the Northeast sales effort for “Albany Bahamas” a new Tiger Woods Golf Club in Nassau Bahamas.
When the kids were younger, she was the uber traveling mom, often on the road for 10 or 15 days at a time. Like so many Americans, Duvall-Hero re-evaluated her life and priorities after Sept. 11, 2001. “I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to move out of New York because I love it, but I don’t want to be in the Icehouse doing a hockey game for the Penguins. I want to be in New York if this happens again so I can get to my kids,’” she says.
TravelingMom founder Kim Orlando caught up with her recently to talk about her past, present and future as a superstar water skier and traveling mom.
TMOM: When you were on the water ski circuit, you were on road all the time, weren’t you?
CAMILLE DUVALL-HERO: We have a world tour, sort of like tennis or golf. We start in Australia in March and then we do a tournament in Asia and then we come home. We’re in the South in April and May. We go to Europe the end of June and July and then we come back to the States and we’re in Canada a little bit in October.
TMOM: Did you travel as a kid to compete?
CAMILLE DUVALL-HERO: I traveled the first time on my own out of the country when I was 13. I went to Bogata, Columbia. I was with the team and the coach, but without my parents. By the time I was 16 or 17 years old I was a world traveler.