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Royce Andes

Royce Andes

Honored in 

Royce was an accomplished able-bodied water skier/barefooter as a young man, and unfortunately was paralysed from the neck down in a barefoot demonstration. His love for the sport and his continued desire to get back out on the water led him to create an adaptive sit-down water ski. Realising he had created something amazing, Royce began to find other quadriplegics and paraplegics to try out his new design. Adaptive/disabled water skiing wouldn't be at its current level at this time had it not been for Royce Andes. Royce became known as the "Godfather" of disabled/adaptive water skiing. He was a rare visionary who through both invention and innovation, changed our sport to such a degree that it has resulted in a worldwide and permanent impact on our sport as it exists today. Through Royce's vision and perseverance, disabled/adaptive water skiing is a discipline in national and international water skiing. Royce did this from a power wheelchair, using only his mind and a mouth held stick pen. So many disabled athletes fell in love with what Royce has created and from there spawned a whole worldwide movement in adaptive water skiing. This includes stand-up, sit-down, vision-impaired, amputee and cognitively impaired skiers. Starting from such humble beginnings in the small town of Biggs, California, there have been 25 National Championships and 22 World Championships with over 20 countries competing throughout the years because of Royce's gift to water skiing. Royce made the most significant and farthest-reaching contributions at the World Level. He was a leader whose legacy and impacts will live on through current and future generations of people who continue to break down barriers, and who create accessibility in sports and our world. In short, Royce's love for water skiing changed lives during his lifetime and will continue to change lives as long as people with disabilities water ski. He has undoubtedly made such a tremendous impact on our sport that his legacy deserves to be memorialized.

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