Team USA’s Mike Royal (Magnolia, TX) set a new Men’s V1 National Tricks Record at the AWSA’s South Central Regional Championships in Martindale, Texas on July 25, 2021.
Royal’s new record of 820 bested his previous National Record by 120 points. Records aren’t anything new to Mike. He is a six-time TEAM USA Member, has set 6 World Records, 7 National Records, had a 3rd Place finish in the 1993 Boston Marathon (vision impaired division), was a 1996 Olympic Torch Bearer, and was the Bronze Medal Downhill U.S. National Alpine Champion in 1996
Although Royal is totally blind, he competed in able-bodied tournaments this ski season. He set his record at the Regional Championships in the Men’s 4 division (45-54 years old) against sighted athletes. To ensure his performance would qualify for an adaptive record, he had the Pan Am Judge verify that he was wearing blackout goggles prior to skiing.
Off the water, Mike, a former Director of Information Technology Audit, is now retired. His wife Wendy and their two children (Taylor and Eric) raise guide dogs for the blind in appreciation for the huge impact and benefits such dogs have provided Mike over the years.
Mike will be competing at the 2022 U.S. Adaptive Water Ski Nationals and Team Trials September 14-17, 2022, in Paducah, Kentucky vying to earn a coveted spot on the USA Adaptive Water Ski Team. Team USA, reigning World Champions, will compete at the 2023 IWWF World Disabled Water Ski Championships in March of 2023 at the Bridgewater Ski Club in Victoria, Australia.
For more information on adaptive water skiing, visit our website, usaadaptivewaterski.org
You can read more about Mike at mikeroyal.com.