ABC Male and Female 2012 Athlete of the Year

​Early in the morning on January 24th, I boarded a flight to Winter Haven, Florida, where I would be attending the 2013 USA Waterski Awards Banquet with my parents and my younger sister. The banquet was to be held on Saturday, but since we were traveling all the way to Florida, we might as well make a vacation out of it. Upon my arrival in the Orlando airport, my family and I loaded up our rental car and went to our hotel in Disney. After checking in, we headed to the WBC where we met up with the crew to go to Hurricane’s for Ben Groen’s birthday. After dinner, I headed back to the hotel in order to get a good night’s sleep as I would be skiing for the first time in 3 months the following morning.

​The next morning, my father and I made the short commute from our hotel to the ski school. We went out to ski with Dave that morning. My dad and I basically just got out feet back on the water after our long break. I worked on turns, while my father did the basics (one foots, toe-holds, etc.). We headed in for a short lunch break. After lunch, we headed back out, this time with Ashleigh. I worked on slalom all afternoon. After my two sets, I had the privilege of watching Dave and Ben do some amazing multiple turn training.

The next day, Saturday, my father and I skied a half day with Keith. I did two sets of turns and a set of slalom, while my father worked his reverse toe-holds. After we finished skiing, we said our goodbyes to the WBC crew and headed back to our hotel to get cleaned up for the banquet.

​At the banquet, I received the ABC Male Athlete of the Year Award. I was excited to see some of three-event waterskiing’s top skiers. I was able to see skiers such as Nate Smith, Freddy Krueger, and Regina Jacquess receive various awards throughout the night. My family and I sat with fellow barefooter Teri Jones, who was receiving the ABC Female Athlete of the Year Award and the USA Waterski That’s Incredible Award. We were both called up on the stage to receive our awards. I really enjoyed being able to receive my award at such a nice venue with so many people there.

After the banquet, we packed up our belongings and went to sleep. The next morning my family and I boarded our plane back to Scranton, Pennsylvania. The trip was amazing, and it felt amazing to be back on the water after three months.

-Johnathan Martines

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