GRACE PETZOLD of Mequon is a member of the USA Water Ski Show Team, which won the team title at the Show Ski World Championships, Sept. 8-9, on Peninsula Lake at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada. – Submitted photo
The USA Water Ski Show Team won the team title at the Show Ski World Championships, held Sept. 8-9, on Peninsula Lake at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada.
The tournament featured all-star show ski teams from the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China and Germany.
One of the skiers on the U.S. team is Grace Petzold of Mequon.
Petzold is the daughter of Andrew and Wendy Petzhold, sister to Aaron, and skies with the Cypress Garden Water Ski Team in Florida.
Petzold is a senior at University School of Milwaukee and travels to Florida many weekends to practice and perform and when she is home she visits relatives when time permits.
She has close ties to her grandmother, Diane Fiedler, who resides in the city of Sheboygan Falls and her great-grandmother, Elaine Fiedler, who lives in the town of Sheboygan Falls, as well as many other relatives in the surrounding area.
Petzold became fascinated with water skiing when she first watched a Badgerland Water Ski Show Team when she was about 5 years old and came away amazed.
When her family vacationed in Rhinelander during the summer of 2011, she saw the Hodag Water Shows ski team perform and decided that she wanted to join the team the following summer. She has been water skiing ever since.
Petzold was not only fascinated with water skiing, but her determination proved to show that she was a natural talent.
Her talent excelled and she was able to grasp what she was taught and perfected the moves to the point that it was not the skiing of an amateur, but now that of a professional.
At a young age, Petzold knew she wanted to compete. The process to be considered for the team started well over two years ago and led to Grace applying to be a member of the team in April 2017.
She then found out she was selected as a team member in August 2017. The team then got together in April 2018 in Florida for a long weekend to practice and then again this past Labor Day weekend in Lake Geneva. Then they headed to Canada for three days of practice before the competition began.
Petzold was the youngest female skier to be named to the team. She skied in the following acts: ballet line, back barefoot, swan swivel, double doubles and doubles line, along with the pyramid.
The USA Water Ski Show Team scored a grand total 1,735.02 points in winning its fourth consecutive world team title.
Australia finished runner-up with 1,623.16 points, followed by Canada (1,424.48 points), China (1,343.66 points), Belgium (1,258.12 points) and Germany (1,183.86 points).
Each team performed two shows over two days, with the highest-scoring performance determining the champion.
The USA Water Ski Show Team’s winning score came from Saturday’s show. The final scores from Australia, China, Belgium and Germany came from Sunday and Canada’s final score came from Saturday’s show.
In competitive show skiing, each club has one hour to present a theatrical performance on water skis.
Judges score acts by awarding points based on originality, presentation and execution. Elaborate costumes and staging intermix with music and fast action on the water as an announcer leads the audience through the show.
The team rosters in the Show Ski World Championships were limited to 35 total members, including skiers, boat drivers, announcers and show directors.