Young is the world's oldest water skier

Dwan Jacobsen Young

At the age of 92, and still going strong, Dwan Jacobsen Young, from Salt Lake, Utah, US, is now officially the world’s oldest water skier “for making a big splash” in the world of water skiing at an advanced age. 

The recognition made during a family party was a surprise when Dawn heard about her newfound record title, a “worthwhile gift of appreciation for her persistence in the sport that she has “kept alive” since she started the sport aged 29.

“My daughter announced that our granddaughter had a surprise, and up on the screen came a video of me skiing, after which her granddaughter presented me with a Guinness World Records plague, to my surprise and excitement the family joined in an applaud,” said the elderly skier.

According to a documented story, the younger Dwan purchased a summer cabin on Lake Bear, in Utah and Idaho in 1961.

While holidaying here, she became interested in water skiing after noticing it was popular.  So popular was the sport with the locals and the visitors that she did not want to be left out. It is here that she first tried a hand in water skiing. She says the rest is history. 

From then on, every summer, Dwan and her family would spend time on the spot on Lake Bear, where she would always indulge in the spot, whenever the weather allowed.  

In the beginning, she says, she used to get butterflies before she got in the water, but with more practice, it made her not only enjoy water skiing, but with every skiing, it began to feel natural. 

The journey

The Guinness World Records holder says she first learned to water ski using two skis, and with much effort and many failures, she was finally able to get up on the slalom (a winding course marked out by poles, where the skier skis in a zigzag or wavy course). 

“This is my best moment and my favourite memory of my water-skiing journey,” she said during her interview. 

Later, she learnt to save her energy for professional water skiing and learnt about how to get up on two sis and then immediately drop them – that was when she became a pro skier. 

Dwan skis with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, whom she says, she looks up to as her coaches and cheerleaders. 

Dwan, who trended globally after the recognition shared tips on becoming a pro in the male-dominated sport. They include training with a professional, taking precautions when skiing, and stopping if the water gets too choppy or rough.

She also tips that one should pay close attention when water skiing and check when to turn and cross the wake. In all, she says, persistence, is the best winner. 

She says water skiing has taught her to never give up on goals she sets for herself. The record holder urges those interested in the sport to get a good water ski boat, find a friend or a family member with patience, or a trainer to kick-start you on the journey.

“Do not be afraid to start a new sport even when you are older,” says the record holder. Her dream is to be able to snow ski and have a record for skiing the diamond trails  For now, she hopes to stay healthy and to keep up water-skiing to enjoy her life to the fullest. 


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