National Adaptive Water Ski Championships underway in Paducah

Nolan Barnes, 3-event paraplegic skier, says the competition showcases a lot of athletic talent, which gets more impressive every year.
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 6:12 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2022 at 10:54 AM CDT
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PADUCAH, Ky. (KFVS) - The 26th National Adaptive Water Ski Championships is being held at Twin Oaks Lakes in Paducah.

The event kicked off on Wednesday, September 14 and runs through Saturday, September 17.

The Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts and USA Adaptive Water Skiing and Wake Sports are hosting the event.

The competition features the top adaptive water ski athletes from across the U.S.

Skiers will be competing in the three standard events of able-bodied 3-event water skiing – slalom, tricks and jumping.

Nolan Barnes, a 3-event paraplegic skier from Canada, says in addition to his own training for events like this, he and other adaptive skiers send each other videos to coach each other and to push the sport to the next level.

Nolan Barnes, 3-event paraplegic skier demonstrates his skills ahead of the 26th Adaptive Water Ski National Championships in Paducah.

Some of the participants include a number of injured veterans, former competitors for the U.S. Olympic Team and visually impaired (blind) slalom skiers and jumpers.

This is the first national event since 2018.

The event will also serve as the World Team Trials for both the U.S. and Canada. Approximately 12 of Canada’s top adaptive water skiers will be competing.

Joe Burkhead, with 26th National Adaptive Water Ski Championships, shares what you can expect at this year's competition in Paducah on Sept. 14-17.