Well, the man widely credited with popularizing the sport of waterskiing and the son of Cypress Gardens founder Dick Pope Sr, passed away at the age of 77 from cancer.
Dick Pope Jr., the son of the founders of Cypress Gardens and who is credited with helping to popularize water skiing, died Thursday night. He was 77. Pope died from pancreatic cancer at about 10 p.m. at his home in Winter Haven, Fla.Also linked from the Usa waterski post is a neat biography that was written about him for his introduction into the waterski hall of fame. Of note is this line:
Although he liked slalom and jumping better than tricks, he perfected several ramp tricks and introduced the 540 turn on the rap in 1952 in his last tournament before joining the Marine Corps.Really? A 540 on the ramp in 1952...and then joined the Marines? Damn this guy was good!
The CRB members have a weird-o attachment to the Dick Pope Jr, as his skis have served our step-off ski needs for a number of years, and growing up you never really understood what a legend someone like this was. You just knew he was better then the rest of us, it was just assumed. No one questioned that there were skis named after someone, it was just understood.
But on the bright side, bet that heaven has a whole fleet of sweet new equipment and lakes to use at will.
Dick Pope Jr., 1930 - 2007: usawaterski.com