“Pickos was the youngest member in the history of the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team.”
Pickos was a tricks skiing phenomenon at an early age, having won his first professional tournament at age 12 and setting his first world record at age 13. During his lengthy career as a tricks skier, Pickos set 24 world records, was the first person to eclipse the 10,000-point mark, and he won back-to-back world championships in 1981 and 1983. He also won 10 U.S. Open titles and 10 Masters’ titles.
Pickos also is the youngest member in the history of the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team. He was selected a member of the team at the age of 13 and competed in his first world championship in 1977. He competed as a U.S. Elite Water Ski Team member or as an independent in almost every Water Ski World Championships thereafter, a span of 32 years that may never be duplicated. It culminated in 2009 in Canada, where he and his son, Adam, both advanced to the finals.
Originally from Kenosha, Wis., Pickos was a self-taught skier. After he and his brother, Craig, finished first and second in Open Men tricks at the 1978 Water Ski National Championships in Tivoli Gardens, Mich., his parents moved the family to Florida to give the boys an opportunity to train year round. Pickos has operated a ski school since he was 16 years old, and has owned and operated the Cory Pickos World Ski Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., for more than 20 years.