Exciting news came from the IWWF International Show Ski Committee this week. After previous
news that Wisconsin Rapids and Lake Wazeecha were one of three finalists announced for the 2016 World Tournament, we learned that the Aqua Skiers of Wisconsin Rapids were awarded the winning bid! This year’s finalists all were very experienced and capable locations for the event. The award to Wisconsin Rapids was due, in large part, to having submitted an excellent application, having an organization capable of hosting such a large event, and speaks to our area’s strong offering to recreational visitors.
The selection of our Community for the 2016 World Tournament is an honor, and an affirmation to the work that has occurred to leverage our natural assets for recreational pleasure. It also speaks to the capability of our local organization of hosting such an event. The Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers have shown this capability through their experience hosting the annual Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Tournament, and event the national tournament more than once. 2016 will be extra busy with our area hosting the 50th Anniversary of the State Tournament as well. Adding the opportunity to host the World Tournament is a natural choice, given the Aqua Skiers’ expertise and experience. I’d also like to recognize Dan and Maggie Muleski, for their involvement making our Water Ski Tournament hosting history unmatched. Dan serves as the Board President for the Aqua Skiers, and Maggie has served as tournament chair for the Wisconsin State Show Ski Championships for several years, and will be serving as tournament chairwoman for the 2016 world competition. Maggie’s experience chairing two of the largest water ski tournaments in the world, along with many other volunteer-related activities, means she knows first-hand what it takes to host a large tournament, and means that our area well positioned for success with two big tournaments in 2016.
Yesterday’s announcement is fantastic news for our community! The economic activity resulting from thousands of visitors is welcomed and will certainly be felt beyond our City. Additionally, as this event is a world tournament, team squads from Australia, Belgium, Canada and China will be joining United States teams and participating in the tournament. These teams will bring with them many fans, and offer an excellent opportunity for residents and visitors from our area communities to experience different cultures, and we have the opportunity to show our guests the many assets that central Wisconsin has to offer!
Although a tournament in 2016 seems far away, long-range preparation and planning is underway. Winning a world tournament bid, is a wonderful accomplishment, but it is only the first part. The preparations must continue so all our future visitors will have the best possible experience. This ranges from sharpening our customer service skills to making our city spaces more attractive for leisure activities. Wednesday’s announcement is a reminder for the work to be done to make our City a more attractive and presentable City for future visitors to this (and hopefully many other) renowned events hosted in Central Wisconsin.