Oldsmar - For decades, tourists from all over the world made the trip to Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven to watch the park’s famous skiers flip, spin and hurl themselves off ramps. Unfortunately, Cypress Gardens is no more. However, a group of Tampa area skiers has kept the park’s ski show tradition alive.
Each Saturday, the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team shows off its skills at Tower Lake in Oldsmar. The program runs 45 minutes and features everything from barefoot skiing to jumps and pyramids to ballet. Skiers also perform doubles, triples, and other novelty acts incuding wakeboarding.
Show director Mike Atherton has just returned to the water after a devestating boat accident last year in which he lost his legs and one arm. Despite the accident, Mike recently started water skiing again, something that he wasn't sure would happen. But he said skiing is something that he always loved and he was determined to get on water skiis again. Mike uses a specially adapted ski sled to get him in the water.
The show is scheduled for each Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Tower Lake in Oldsmar. Bleacher seating is available but there is also plenty of room for lawn chairs around the lake.
There is no charge for admission or parking and the team has a concession stand and restroom facilities on site.
The Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team has a membership of over 100 athletes. They have one mission - to encourage kids and families to get involved in water skiing.
For more information, visit the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show team’s website . There, you can find a full peformance schedule. You may also call Vickie 813-917-8354 or Lisa 727-480-9365 for more information.
Directions to Tower Lake: From Tampa Road, take Racetrack Road north, just past the flea market to the first light at Douglas road. Turn left (west) onto Douglas. Look for the ski show signs at the second dirt road on the left.
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After another round of rough weather, things will be much quieter through the holiday weekend.