As I sit at my desk and avoid doing my job and instead sit here watching Youtube vids I came across two that really stuck out. First we have two women trying to finish an Iron Man and fighting their bodies. That drive to finish something you have started, to prove you can do it is something we as water skiers do every time we hit the water. Whether it is getting thru your 35 off pass, pushing your jump distance another couple feet or sticking that reverse toe back, we are always pushing to be better. Now our bodies do not shut down like this but our drive is the same. I NEED THAT BOUY! Dig in and rip it, push for it. You can see that look of accomplishment on the face of a skier that just set a new PB or especially when a skier sets a record. Look at the emotional release Regina has every time she wins an event or sets a record. The drive is over and the body relaxes, emotions pour out. She has reached the finish line in the slalom iron man.
Water skiers have something that you rarely see in other sports, amazing good sportsmanship. Years ago at the NCWSA Nationals (2001 I believe, don't remember the exact year), The sun was setting as the Jump event was finishing up and there were still 2 jumpers to go. Dane Puxty skiing for ULL and Jimmy Siemers of ASU were left to ski. Jimmy went out first and took two jumps, then told the boat to take him in so Dane could ski before it was too dark to see. Dane went out and jumped 171 feet beating Jimmy and taking the Mens Jump title. Rarely do we see examples as glaring as Dane and Jimmy but you will see skiers loan equpment on the dock or help a skier fix their binding so they can get on the dock in time to ski. Our pros go out and give it their all on the water to win, but on the shore they hang out together and party it up at night.
These two girls from the Ohio State High School track tournament show that same sportsmanship that we often see in our sport. Instead of just running by the fallen runner, she picks her up carries her to the line and pushes her across. The fallen runner, Arden McMath, had been ahead of Meghan Vogel for most of the race but collapsed with just 20 meters to go in the 3200 meter race. Meghan stopped, helped her up and walked her across the line. Arden ended up taking 14th and Meghan placed 15th, last place in the finals.
In both of these stories the competitors placements mean little, the strength of character means everything.
Not sure if this is the vid from the Dane and Jimmy story or not. I could be wrong on the year, hell its possible I am wrong on the skiers as well...