|Launched in 1989 by the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF), the biennial Hall of Fame Ceremony took place at the impressive Culture Centre Theatre in Dubna, Russia, during the 2011 World Waterski Championships.
This year, five major international contributors to the sport were inducted following the voting process carried out by the Selection Committee which represented all three IWWF Confederations. Their ten members came from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, and USA. On this occasion, two of the inductees were athletes and three officials.
The elegant Culture Centre Theatre in Dubna set a perfect backdrop for this important occasion. The red carpet inductees and guests arrival in the marble entrance hall gave all an opportunity to meet before being escorted into the Theatre. As the curtain rose and the Russian musical entertainment concluded, International Hall of Fame Chairman, Des Burke-Kennedy IRL, opened the ceremony by calling the first inductee, official William P Barlow Jr., to the stage. He has held virtually every position possible in the American Water Ski Association. As the recently retired International Hall of Fame Chairman, his half-century of contributions at both national and international level was warmly acknowledged. As the drafter of the first rules for the Waterski World Championships in 1959 and the creator of the International Hall of Fame rules, his popular induction was welcomed by all present.
To receive her award, athlete Kim Izzard (Lampard) AUS brought her entire family 14,500km from Australia for this presentation. Her World Barefoot Championships gold medal in 1980 at just 14 years of age was a signal of outstanding achievements to come. This past Female Athlete of the Year accumulated a grand total of 15 World Championships medals over her outstanding Barefoot Waterski career.
Athlete Michael Jon Neville AUS, began his Waterski career at the age of four. He represented Australia at no less than eight World Waterski Championships, captured 23 Open National titles and took 8 podium places at World Championships. He also took Moomba Masters and US Masters titles before retiring in 1993.
Athlete Andy Mapple OBE, GBR, is still regarded today as one of the greatest Slalom Skiers of all time. He became a member of the British National Waterski Team at the age of eighteen, a position he held for 24 years. He set his first World Slalom Record in 1985 and had accumulated nine World Records by 1998. His 168 professional Slalom victories included six World Slalom Champion titles and 14 US Masters Slalom titles. He retired at the 45th US Masters Banquet in May, 2004, having set a Course Record that same afternoon at the famous Callaway Gardens Robin Lake site.
Official Isidro “Bilo” Oliveras ESP took six Spanish National Waterski Titles in Tricks and Slalom before he moved off the water to become Technical Director and also President of Spain’s National Federation. He then served in a range of positions in the Europe Africa Middle East (EAME) Waterski Confederation and eventually became International Waterski Federation (IWSF) President in 1983. As an Olympic Movement Commission Member from 1988 to 1993, he subsequently was elected President of the International Roller Sports Federation (FIRS) in 1989.
In concluding the International Hall of Fame Ceremony, Chairman Des Burke-Kennedy thanked the Selectors and welcomed past inductee Richard Cowell on stage. He has attended every World Waterski Championships, except two, since 1989 and also competed in that first Championships. He presented a special jacket to Burke-Kennedy which contains the official badges of over 40 IWWF Federations around the world which he has visited.
Also present at the Ceremony were other past inductees Chantal Amade-Escot FRA, Bob Corson USA, Max Kirwan AUS, Natalia Roumiantseva RUS, Patrice Martin FRA, and Order of Merit recipient Bruno Rix
There is a Twitter feed at : @ChiefJudgeDubna
CONTACT : Des Burke-Kennedy, Media Chairman, International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation
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