The U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team won the world team gold medal and seven U.S. team members won individual medals at the 11th Disabled Water Ski World Championships, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, in Milan, Italy.
Twelve athletes represented the 2013 U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team at the biennial event. More than 40 athletes from 12 countries participated in the championships. The United States tallied 12,541.95 points in winning the gold medal for an unprecedented third consecutive time and the seventh time in the history of the event. Italy earned the silver medal with 11,787.45 points and Australia earned the bronze medal with 6,940.92 points.
Within each event (slalom, tricks and jumping), athletes were 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). Each competitor in the three categories was awarded in each round of each event a certain number of points according to the relationship of his/her score to the minimum score needed to set or equal a world record in the event for the same disability category and gender as it stood on Jan. 1, 2013.
U.S. team members earned a total of 15 individual medals, including six gold medals, three silver medals and six bronze medals. All 11 competing members of the team contributed points to the gold-medal winning effort.
Members of the U.S. Disabled Water Ski Team were: Connor Aguilar-Poggetto (Carmichael, Calif.) – Men MP3; Dave Carter (Dallas, Ga.) – Men MP2; 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; and Joe Ray (Wilsonville, Ala.) – Men MP2. Maddox was injured while training just days before the event was to begin and was unable to compete. Rhonda Van Dyk (Belding, Mich.) was team manager, Matt Oberholtz (Oroville, Calif.) was coach, and Dr. Keith Barbour (Monroe, Mich.) served as the team physician.
Mawby won gold medals in vision impaired division women's slalom (2.0/52), tricks (730 points), jumping (46 feet) and overall (2,235.93 points); Radmilovic won gold medals in seated division women's slalom (3.00/37) and tricks (860.0 points), the silver medal in overall (2,859.15 points), and the bronze medal in jumping (44 feet), and she also earned the bronze medal in women's tournament overall (among all women competitors); Guzman earned the bronze medal in seated division men's slalom (5.00/46) and overall (2,255.78 points); Ray earned the silver medal in seated division men's slalom (1.00/40); Furbish earned the silver medal in seated division men’s tricks (880 points); Hancock earned the bronze medal in standing division men's slalom (.50/52); and Hager earned the bronze medal in seated division men's tricks (1,180 points).