Presentation for 2001 world team champions to take place April 27
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Feb. 20, 2002
POLK CITY, Fla. ¾ Members of the 2001 U.S. Elite Water Ski Team will receive “world champion” rings as recognition for their gold-medal victory at the 2001 Water Ski World Championships last fall in Recetto, Italy. The ring presentation is scheduled to take place Saturday, April 27, during the annual Water Ski Hall of Fame open house and press conference in Polk City, Fla.
“I think it’s time that we honor our U.S. Elite Water Ski Team the same way other sports organizations honor their teams,” said Mike Meek, the U.S. Elite Team coach. “Hopefully this will start a tradition and promote our sport to up-and-coming athletes.”
The rings are made of 14k gold and are imprinted with the athlete’s name, the phrase “Italy 2001,” and an icon of a water skier. USA Water Ski Executive Director Steve McDermeit will present the rings to the athletes during the ceremony.
“I am very proud of the way the team was able to perform so exceptionally well and bring the gold medal back to the United States for the first time since 1989,” McDermeit said. ” It’s a great honor to host this presentation.''
The U.S. Team outdistanced 30 countries to claim the world title with a final score of 8,346.36 points. The victory marked the 22nd time in the biennial tournament’s 27 occurrences that the U.S. Team has secured the gold medal, but only the first time since 1989. Members of the U.S. team were: Ben Favre (Windermere, Fla.); Regina Jaquess (Suwannee, Ga.); Freddy Krueger (Winter Garden, Fla.); Rhoni Barton (Orlando, Fla.); Brandi Hunt (Clermont, Fla.); and Russell Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.).