Water Ski show caps off weekend of celebration in Lake City

Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 10:30 PM CDT
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LAKE CITY, Minn. (KTTC) – “We’re from the area that it all began,” said USA Ski and Wake Sports Board of Directors Member Joel Johanningmeier.

100 years later, it’s now an international sport, but water skiing started in Lake City. The first ever documented water skier was Ralph Samuelson, in 1922.

“He grew up doing a little bit of snow skiing as many others around the area and thought he’d want to take it to water out there,” said Johanningmeier.

To celebrate 100 years since Samuelson’s discovery, a large water ski celebration took place on Lake Pepin.

“It’s been a big part of my life the whole time,” said Skier Glenn Sperry.

Sperry, who is 82, made the trip up from Forth Worth, Texas, to join in this celebration.

“I just think it’s an awesome thing to celebrate this and so, when I got the invitation to come up here, I said yes I will certainly do this,” said Sperry.

Rough waters and high winds on the Northern part of the lake brought the showing to a different spot, but that did not deter any of the skiers.

“It’s crazy to be here and to realize that 100 years ago, this was the first place someone skied,” said Skier Hope Peterson.

“I’ve been waterskiing and been apart of this sport for my entire life, and it’s pretty cool to be apart of that,” said Skier Cole Nelson.

“Me personally, I have multiple people to look up to and to learn from,” said Skier Nora Schmitz.

The event was apart of Lake City’s Water Ski Days, which also celebrated the city’s sesquicentennial.

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