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Bonifay, Mixon Sr. Elected To Hall Of Fame

The USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation’s Hall of Fame Selection Committee has announced wakeboarding sensation Parks Bonifay and barefoot pioneer Don Mixon Sr. will take their place among the sport's immortals in the foundation’s Water Ski & Wake Sports Hall of Fame. The two icons will be enshrined at the 37th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 27, 2019 at Walt Disney World’s Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla. Bonifay and Mixon will be honored for their amazing accomplishments and for the long-lasting impact their contributions have had and will continue to have on the sport. 

The name Parks Bonifay has become synonymous with wakeboarding. Long known as one of the most influential and accomplished wakeboarders of all time, Bonifay enters the Hall of Fame as an outstanding athlete, pioneer and innovator. Bonifay has been in the spotlight on the water since he was 6 months old.  Before he could even walk, he made his water skiing debut at Cypress Gardens and became an instant media sensation known as the “Ski Baby” and earned the Guinness Record.

Bonifay took the wakeboarding world by storm winning the X Games when he was just 14 years old, and went on to dominate wakeboarding events worldwide, from the Pro Tour to the Gravity Games. Boniday has held every major title in the sport. He is a 5-time Pro Wakeboard Tour Champion, 5-time competitor in the X Games- two in which he won gold, 2-time Master’s Wakeboard Champion, a U.S. National Wakeboard Champion, a Wakeboard World Cup Champion and a Gravity Games Champion.
 
A true pioneer, Don Mixon, Sr. guided the sport of barefoot water skiing with intelligence, hard work and a passion that helped build the foundation of what barefooting has become in the United States and around the world.
 
Mixon began his career as a competitive water skier in 1970.  He was the founder and show director of the Lake Padgett Water Ski Club, where he was named the Lake Padgett Water Ski Club Man of the Year in 1978. Shortly after, he started barefooting competitively. For more than a decade, he racked up accolades included being a 2-time Senior Men Barefoot National Slalom Champion, as well as a 2-time Senior Men National Slalom Record Holder. 

In 1982, tragedy struck. Mixon broke his neck in two places, which ended his competitive barefooting career. He was down but he was not out. Mixon threw himself into organizing and hosting barefoot tournaments, coaching, judging, driving and homologating where he quickly became world-renowned.  As an elite judge, driver and coach, Mixon served at every U.S. Barefoot Nationals in some capacity from 1980-1998 and was American Barefoot Club (ABC) Man of the Year in 1983 and 1995.  In 1982 and 1984 he was chief driver of the Barefoot Nationals and in 1989, 1993 and 1997 he was chief judge of the Barefoot Nationals. Mixon, a three-time U.S. Barefoot Team coach, represented the U.S. Barefoot Team as team manager in 1980 and 1982.  He was the appointed judge of the Barefoot World Championships in 1984, 1986 and 1992, chief judge of the 1994 Barefoot World Championships and was the appointed driver of the 1997 Junior Barefoot World Championships. From 1985-1988 he served as the American Barefoot Club’s president. Mixon was the first member of Correct Craft’s barefoot promotional team, where his boat pulled all U.S. barefoot national championships from 1979 -1988.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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