Hall Of Fame Selections Announced
- Posted by: usaws
- On: 12/04/2012 15:34:21
- In: Water Skiing
The American Water Ski Educational Foundation's 10-member Hall of Fame Selection Committee has announced that former professional water ski athletes and world-record holders Kristi Overton-Johnson and Cory Pickos, along with official Jim Grew, will be the 2013 AWSEF Water Ski Hall of Fame inductees. The 31st annual induction ceremony will take place April 20 at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Fla. Overton-Johnson, Pickos and Grew will be the 64th, 65th and 66th inductees into the AWSEF Hall of Fame, which is located in Polk City, Fla.
Overton-Johnson won nearly every women's slalom title imaginable, including the 1999 Pan American Games and Water Ski World Championships. She dominated professional water skiing since turning pro in 1983 when she competed in her first Masters Water Ski Tournament. She was a four-time U.S. Open champion and six-time Masters' champion. Her final professional victory came at the 2002 Masters.
Prior to her Masters' debut, Overton-Johnson dominated the junior ranks, setting records that were still in existence two decades later. She won her first Masters' tricks title in 1985 and climbed her way to the No. 1 ranking in the world in the tricks event before becoming a slalom specialist in 1989. Her greatest achievement was winning the 1999 womenís world slalom title.
Overton-Johnson set a new women's world slalom record of 4 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off in August 1996 and increased it to 1 buoy at 41 feet off in September 1996. She was the sole owner of the world record for the next 12 years until it was tied by Australia's Karina Nowlan in 2008 and U.S. athlete Regina Jaquess in 2009, and eventually surpassed by Jaquess in 2010.
Pickos was a tricks skiing phenomenon at an early age, having won his first professional tournament at age 12 and setting his first world record at age 13. During his lengthy career as a tricks skier, Pickos set 24 world records, was the first person to eclipse the 10,000-point mark, and he won back-to-back world championships in 1981 and 1983. He also won 10 U.S. Open titles and 10 Mastersí titles.
Pickos also is the youngest member in the history of the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team. He was selected a member of the team at the age of 13 and competed in his first world championship in 1977. He competed as a U.S. Elite Water Ski Team member or as an independent in almost every Water Ski World Championships thereafter, a span of 32 years that may never be duplicated. It culminated in 2009 in Canada, where he and his son, Adam, both advanced to the finals.
Originally from Kenosha, Wis., Pickos was a self-taught skier. After he and his brother, Craig, finished first and second in Open Men tricks at the 1978 Water Ski National Championships in Tivoli Gardens, Mich., his parents moved the family to Florida to give the boys an opportunity to train year round. Pickos has operated a ski school since he was 16 years old, and has owned and operated the Cory Pickos World ski Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., for more than 20 years.
Grew, a USA Water Ski member since 1975, is an American Water Ski Association Senior Judge, Senior Scorer/Calculator and Level 3 Coach Course Conductor. He has worked as an appointed judge or scorer at the Water Ski World Championships, Junior Water Ski World Championships, Disabled Water Ski World Championships, Pan American Water Ski Championships, Water Ski National Championships, U.S. Open, Masters, Junior U.S. Open and Disabled Water Ski National Championships.
His volunteer experience to the sport has been vast for more than 20 years. He has served on dozens of committees and boards over the past two decades for the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation, International Disabled Council, American Water Ski Educational Foundation, USA Water Ski, American Water Ski Association, Water Skiers with Disabilities Association and Florida Water Ski Federation. He has served as team manager/captain for the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team, U.S. Under 21 Water Ski Team, U.S. Pan American Championships Water Ski Team, U.S. Junior Water Ski Team and U.S. Americas' Challenge Water Ski Team. He is a two-time recipient of USA Water Skiís Volunteer of the Year Award and was the recipient of USA Water Ski's Award of Merit in 2001. He has been the board chairman for the AWSEF since 2005 and a trustee since 1993. He also has been an AWSEF Scholarship Committee member since 1993 and an Executive & Finance Committee member since 2005.
The 2013 Award of Distinction recipients are: Bob Alkema, Tony Baggiano, Mary Gail Holcombe, Gordon Rathbun and Jack Wilson.
The purpose of the Water Ski Hall of Fame is to honor and perpetuate the names and accomplishments of skiers, pioneers and officials whose dedication and competitive achievements at national and international levels have brought lasting fame to the sport of water skiing. Four categories of membership have been approved by the AWSEF's board of trustees: competitive water skiers, including participants in traditional water skiing, barefoot skiing, ski racing and any other nationally competitive individual discipline recognized by USA Water Ski and approved by the AWSEF board of trustees; water skiing pioneers; water skiing officials; and show skiing. For eligibility requirements and more information, visit the official Web site of the American Water Ski Educational Foundation at www.waterskihalloffame.com.