Lucille Borgen, a longtime member of USA Water Ski and the oldest person ever to compete in the U.S. Water Ski National Championships, died on Friday, June 8. She was 98 years old and living in San Ysidro, Calif., at the time of her death. Lucille was 94 years old when she competed in the 2007 GOODE Water Ski National Championships in Women 11 slalom and tricks in Arvin, Calif., breaking her own record as the oldest competitor at the Nationals. She quit the jumping event when she was 77 years old, commenting at the time: “It is just too much.”
Lucille became an active tournament water skier when she entered the Ohio State Championships in 1959 at the age of 46. She went on to win more than 30 national titles. She received the American Water Ski Educational Foundation’s Award of Distinction in 2005. She still holds U.S. national records in Women 9 (ages 75-79) jumping (45 feet) and Women 11 (ages 85 and over) slalom (4 buoys at 26 mph) and tricks (200 points).
Lucille survived polio as a child, cancer as an adult and the complete loss of vision in her left eye a few years ago. She was skiing every day near her home in Babson Park, Fla., up until the age of 91, and was a fixture at tournaments throughout Florida as a skier and tournament volunteer.