U.S. Team Wins Gold At 2023 IWWF Disabled Water Ski World Championships
by USA Water Ski & Wake Sports
The USA Adaptive Water Ski Team won the gold medal at the 15th Barbara Bolding/Jim Grew Fund Disabled Water Ski World Championships, Sept. 11-17, at Shortline Lake in Elk Grove, Calif. Canada earned the silver medal and Great Britain earned the bronze medal.
Thirteen athletes represented the 2023 USA Adaptive Water Ski Team at the biennial event. Athletes from 11 countries participated in the championships. The United States tallied 14,010.90 points, followed by Canada with 10,698.07 and Great Britain with 6,963.12 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, 2023.
U.S. team members earned a total of 27 individual medals, including 11 gold, 10 silver and 6 bronze.
Members of the 2023 USA Adaptive Water Ski Team were: Cam Delligatti (Chattanooga, Tenn.) – Standing Men; Abigayle Dunn (Susanville, Calif.) – Seated Women; Nicholas Fairall (Andover, N.H.) – Seated Men; Chad Guzman (Gilbert, Ariz.) – Seated Men; Elijah Hager (Alexis, N.C.) – Seated Men; Katie Mawby (Grand Haven, Mich.) – Vision Impaired Women; Elisha Nelson (Woodland, Calif.) – Standing Women; Connor Poggetto (Sacramento, Calif.) – Seated Men; Mike Royal (Magnolia, Texas) – Vision Impaired Men; Gregg Stokes (Rocky Mount, N.C.) – Standing Men; Sarah Switzer (Madison, Ala.) – Seated Women; Craig Timm (Center City, Minn.) – Standing Men; and Chuck Wesson (Charlotte, N.C.) – Seated Men.
Delligatti won the gold in Standing Men tricks; Dunn won the gold in Seated Women tricks; Hager earned the bronze in Seated Men overall; Mawby won the gold medal in Vision Impaired Women slalom and the silver in tricks; Nelson won the gold in Standing Women slalom, and the silver in tricks, jump and overall; Poggetto won the gold in Seated Men tricks and overall, and the silver in jump; Royal won the gold medal in Vision Impaired Men slalom and the silver in tricks; Stokes earned the silver in Standing Men jump and overall, and the bronze in slalom and tricks; Switzer earned the silver in Seated Women overall and the bronze in jump; and Timm won the gold in Standing Men slalom, jump and overall, and the silver in tricks. Poggetto also won the gold in Tournament Men Overall (among all competitors) with Australia’s Scott Wintle earning the silver and Hager the bronze. Switzer earned the bronze medal in Tournament Women Overall with Great Britain’s Claire Ellis winning the gold and Australia’s Samantha Longmore earning the silver.
Jessica Van Dyk (Grand Rapids, Mich.) served as the U.S. team manager; Susan Richey (Palatine, Ill.) was the assistant manager; Brian Detrick (Elk Grove, Calif.) was the coach; and Dr. Keith Barbour (Monroe, Mich.) served as the team physician.
The U.S. Adaptive Water Ski Team has enjoyed unprecedented success at the world championships. It is the only team to have won four consecutive world disabled championships. In total, it has now won 10 team gold medals, four silver and one bronze. U.S. team members have won 397 medals, including 175 gold.