Wisconsin Rapids expects thousands for state water ski championships

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - For the 53rd year, the Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers Show Team is hosting the Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships on Lake Wazeecha, at the South Wood County Park.

The event brings thousands of people to the community each year, as competitors try to show their best for a chance to compete at the national event, this year being held in Warsaw, Indiana.

"This is a big weekend for Wisconsin Rapids," shared Jordan Becker, a member of the Aqua Skiers Show Team, and a committee member for the state tournament.

"It has a huge economical impact on our community. The hotels are full in Wisconsin Rapids, they reach out to Plover and some people are staying in Marshfield. All of the restaurants are full," Becker added.

Gus Rothmaler is one of the competitors in the event. An Illinois native, Rothmaler has been water skiing for 18 years, and currently competes with the Janesville Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team. He say's it's the fan friendly atmosphere in Wisconsin Rapids that makes him enjoy the state competition.

"I love to be able to come out here and spend the weekend with family and friends," said Rothmaler.

"To put on a good show and entertain the crowd, I've been doing it for so long it's an awesome feeling to be able to do that every year."

Lori Butler didn't have to travel quite as far for the event. Her son competes with the Marathon County based 'Water Walkers' team. She says not only is having the event in Wisconsin Rapids convenient, but it gives the team a great opportunity to show their skill.

"Just to be on the water, they work great together," said Butler. "It's fun entertainment for everyone."

The event will continue through Sunday, with skiers getting on the water each morning beginning at 7:00.