There has been a great deal of attention on the Paralympic athletes and their amazing journeys and accomplishments at this year's games. However, there is another championship event that is dear to our hearts, and we wanted to share with you all a great opportunity to assist some amazing athletes in their quest to bring home the gold.
The Water Skiers with Disabilities Association, a sport discipline organization of USA Water Ski, has announced the selection of the 2013 U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team that will compete in the 11th Disabled Water Ski World Championships, July 1-7, 2013, in Milan, Italy. The selections were announced following the conclusion of the 2012 Disabled Water Ski National Championships, Aug. 24-25, in Elk Grove, Calif.
Within each event (slalom, tricks and jumping) at the Disabled Worlds, athletes are grouped into the three categories of seated (paraplegics and quadriplegics), standing (arm and/or leg disabilities with or without prosthesis) and vision impaired (partially or totally blind). At the 2011 Disabled Water Ski World Championships, the U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team won the gold medal for the second consecutive time and the sixth time overall, while U.S. team members earned a total of 12 individual medals, including four gold medals, five silver medals and three bronze medals.
Athletes selected to the 2013 U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team were: Connor Aguilar-Poggetto (Carmichael, Calif.) – Men MP3; Bill Furbish (Atlanta, Ga.) – Men MP1; Chad Guzman (Gilbert, Ariz.) – Men MP3; Elijah Hager (Alexis, N.C.) – Men MP3; Jeff Hancock (Redmond, Ore.) – Men L; Jeremy Maddox (Pendergrass, Ga.) – Men MP2; Katie Mawby (Grand Haven, Mich.) – Women V1; Megan McCauley (Charlotte, N.C.) – Women MP2; Robbie Parks (Lexington, N.C.) – Men MP2; Jessica Radmilovic (Pine Grove, Calif.) – Women MP2; Joe Ray (Wilsonville, Ala.) – Men MP2; Craig Timm (Center City, Minn.) – Men A; and Mark Turner (Buda, Texas) – Men MP3. Selected as alternates were: Peter Anziano (Atlanta, Ga.) – Men MP3; Dave Carter (Dallas, Ga.) – Men MP2; and Dan Reed (Indianapolis, Ind.) – Men MP3. Rhonda Van Dyk (Belding, Mich.) will serve as team manager, Matt Oberholtz (Oroville, Calif.) will serve as coach, and Dr. Keith Barbour (Monroe, Mich.) will be the team physician.
Megan won three Gold medals: One for jump, one for trick, and one for Women's Overall.
Here is a message from Susan D. Austin, mother of Megan, who is one of this year's competitors:
"The Charlotte Disabled Water Ski Team has begun fundraising for their journey to the World Competition. They have to raise $20,000 to make the journey to Italy. The Team is a 501(c) organization and any contributions made to them are tax deductible.
Their EIN is: 45-5565415. The mailing address is 4449 Creemore Drive, Charlotte, North Carolina 28213. If you would like to help, you can make a donation payable to The Charlotte Disabled Water Ski Team. We hope you will consider helping them! Thank you so much!"
There are many great disabled waterskiing groups, such a Leaps Of Faith Disabled Waterskiers, who do amazing work with these athletes. However, they won't be able to compete without our help.