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August 23, 2019

8/8/2019 4:19:00 PM
Timm and team win gold in world water skiing

Rural Center City resident Craig Timm was part of the 2019 USA Adaptive Waterski Team that won gold competing July 25-28 at the World Championships.  

Australia won silver and the team from Great Britain won bronze.

Timm, at age 48, swept gold medals in Standing Men slalom (1.50/58/18.25), tricks (850 points), jumping (98 feet) and overall (2,194.59 points)  The competitors compete standing or seated, and there are competitors who are blind.

He is in the middle of a busy competition season, so he shared some of his experiences with the Chisago County Press by e-mail.

I read articles that state you lost one arm at age 2.  Correct?   
Correct, I was injured in a farm accident in southwestern Minnesota as a young child.

And, that you could get up on skis by about age 12?  Is that right?   
Yes, my family owned a lake cabin, and my parents and siblings all skied.  I was motivated to learn, but it did take until I was about 12 years old until I had the strength to get up on skis with only one arm.

One story I read online was dated about 18 years ago...how long have you been active in the competitive side of the sport?   
I have been competing since 1994.  I compete in disabled national competitions as well as able-bodied, or “regular” three-event tournaments throughout the state of Minnesota.  I was first selected as an alternate member of the 1997 US Disabled Waterski Team, and was called up to compete due to skier injuries.  I have been selected for each US Disabled Team since that time.  The Disabled World Competition is held every two years.

What trick(s) did you perform to land the gold in Norway in the tricks category?   What is your favorite of the categories of slalom, tricks and jumping?   
The trick event is made up of two 20 second passes.  During each pass skiers perform a series of tricks that are each assigned a point value based on difficulty.  I do a combination of surface turns behind the boat, as well as wake turns on my first pass, and start my second pass with a series of toe tricks, with the handle attached to my foot.

The jump event is my favorite of the three events.  I currently hold the world record in the Arm Category for the jump event, with a distance of 108 feet.  I jumped 98 feet at this event.  

I also hold the world record in the slalom event.

The world event was in Skarnes -- what were their facilities and water bodies like?  
The event was held  in Skarnes Norway at the Slastad Vannskiklubb sports facility, which includes two lakes specifically designed for waterskiing.  The site has hosted several world and European regional events in the past and was an excellent venue for this championship event.

I assume you get to travel to many locales in competing, what is one of your favorites, both for the water ski situation and just being fun to visit?
Much of the skiing that I do is right here, locally in Center City.  Minnesota has an extensive waterskiing history, (it is known as the birth place of waterskiing) and the state continues to hold many competitive tournaments each summer.  I have traveled to Australia for three world competitions, as well as to other sites in Europe and also in the United States.  The waterskiing conditions were fantastic at this event in Norway.

Most of the other competitors on the USA Team (who got medals) are from warm weather states...what do people think when they learn you are from a state that's freezing cold most of the year?
I find that I’m able to get nearly as much training in as most of my teammates, I just end up training in colder water!  We joke about our rule of 100 - the conditions are skiable if the water and air temperatures combined are at least 100 degrees!  

I do focus on off-season training in order to be prepared for ski season so that we can take full advantage of the months with no ice on the lake.  

Did anybody especially motivate you to become the elite skier you are?  Any particular role model or instructor or even family member?  
I have had several mentors or coaches provide guidance over the years.  I have an innate competitive spirit that motivates me to continue skiing at a high level and pursuing selection to the US Disabled Waterski Team.

Talk a little about your training...do you need to work on a specific muscle group;   do you have special equipment, trampoline, etc?
My cross training or off-season training includes running and cross country skiing as well as core work and strength training.  Waterskiing is very sport-specific discipline, nothing can really replicate the value of time on the water working on each of the three disciplines.

Is there an event or award you haven't achieved that you still want?
I do not yet hold the disabled world trick record in my category and often have that goal in the back of my mind.  

I have also enjoyed opportunities to compete in all three events (slalom, trick and jump) at the able-bodied 3-event waterski regional and national competitions.

At the 2018 national waterski championships, I placed 5th overall in my age division against skiers with no disability who also skied all three events.
I will be skiing at the 2019 national event, which is being held in West Palm Beach, Florida from August 6-10. 

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