Already a Spanish water-skiing champion multiple times over, this madrileño combines his studies at IE University with training for the upcoming World Cup in the US
When asked how many national water-skiing championships he has won, 18-year-old Tono Teixidor is not immediately certain of the exact number. “I’ve come first four of five times in Spain, I don’t keep count,” he says with genuine humility, as though consistently being one of the best in a discipline as complex as water-skiing were achievable for any mere mortal. “I was fifth in Europe in the 2018 U17 in Ukraine,” the dual degree freshman studying Business Administration + Data & Business Analytics at IE University says matter-of-factly.
For the Teixidor family, water-skiing is not just a sporting passion, but a way of life. His brother Dani, two years his junior, has also amassed a good handful of trophies and his father, also named Dani, was Europe Masters champion. As head of the clan, he is the real “culprit” behind the fact that both Tono and Dani have loved and practiced the sport from a very young age, as well as being an instrumental factor in their success.
“My family has a house next to the San Juan reservoir. I started out there when I was five, first with a few boards and then with skis,” reminisces Teixidor. Also known as the beach of Madrid, the reservoir permits swimming as well as the practice of water sports like wake surfing or water skiing since it is the only one in the Madrid region that is navigable by motor or sail. This spectacular lake is where Teixidor put on his first skis and hooked on to a boat to glide through the water.
“It’s a very demanding sport, and you have to practice constantly,” he says. Like many other athletes, he spent the last year on the dry docks as a result of the pandemic. The IE University student trains in two different water skiing disciplines. For one of them, he competes in “trick” water-skiing where participants must perform a series of moves with a single ski over the wake of the boat, executing as many tricks as they can within two sets of twenty seconds. His other discipline is the slalom, where the competitor must navigate a course of six fixed buoys situated just over eleven meters from a central line, completing turns around each of them. Both trick and slalom are incredibly demanding disciplines for skiers. They require strength, balance, skill, and imagination.
At the moment, Teixidor has his mindset on the world championship due to be held in mid-August in Florida, US—largely considered a water-skiing paradise among lovers of the sport. For the time being, the young Madrilenian trains, when time permits, in the San Juan Reservoir while staying focused on his studies at the Santa Cruz la Real campus.
“I’m living in a student residence in Segovia. I’m from Madrid so when I arrived in Segovia, I realized it is a very lively and welcoming city with a lot of things to do. It’d be hard to get bored there and I really like the university atmosphere,” affirms Teixidor.
The past academic year has not been easy. His freshman experience has unraveled in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. As many will know, IE University implemented a Liquid Learning model this year, a strategic commitment to transforming the learning experience of all students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate programs. “I haven’t had any problems with pursuing my studies,” he emphasizes, adding that “the online classes are really well-organized in both academic and technological terms, although I try to attend all the face-to-face classes that I can.”
With over 20 years of experience in online education, IE University’s programs boast an innovative design as well as a format that enables students to attend the class in person or connect virtually in real-time, using screens installed in the classroom to deliver the same immersive experience. When talking about the subjects he studies as part of the Dual Degree in Business Administration + Data & Business Analytics, he acknowledges that the workload “is quite exhaustive and demanding. I was really struck by the amount of work we have to complete and present throughout the year.”
The young Madrilenian is aware of the fact that he will not be able to live off of his sporting successes in the future, which is why he continues striving to be a good student. “In the future I’d like to work in a major company, ideally doing analytics, business, or marketing,” he says. A few days before the end of the program, Teixidor is already thinking about escaping to the San Juan reservoir to practice. Much more than a passion, it is a way of life—a life on the water.