Sports

Five Seasons Ski Team celebrating 40 years

HS journalism: Group has some a long way

Five Seasons Ski Team members build a pyramid as they water ski on the Cedar River during a practice for their show at Ellis Park on June 19, 2017. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Five Seasons Ski Team members build a pyramid as they water ski on the Cedar River during a practice for their show at Ellis Park on June 19, 2017. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — When Don Clow came aboard 30-plus years ago, he never would have suspected The Five Seasons Ski Team would be where it is today.

“A twin Rig ... financially impossible. Evinrude sponsorship ... why would they do that? Ski-arounds seemed impossible, our ballet line was two skis and a deep up, our swivel girls barely could turn at all ... WOW,” Clow said. “Likely none of our founding members ever would have thought our current success would have been possible.”

Clow officially joined the team in 1981, three years after the team started. He was a pickup driver from 1981 through 1984 and a tow boat driver ever since.

At the beginning, in 1978, the team was called The Coralville Lake Ski Club, skiing about two shows a year on the Coralville Lake. In 1985, they added a show in Cedar Rapids and discovered a large crowd. In 1990, the shows became every other week and, by 1991, it was weekly shows. Last year, the team performed 22 shows.

“The name ‘Five Seasons Ski Team’ was added as a marketing name,” Clow said. “The tremendous Freedom Festival attendance and other factors led us to eventually changing our official name from Coralville Lake Ski Club to the Five Seasons Ski Team ... to make us more identifiable as a Cedar Rapids event and not people from Coralville.”

Kristin Deutmeyer, daughter of Larry Blackledge and Vicki Fisher, was born into the life of show skiing and passes down the sport to her children.

“I know my mom has said that back when she and my dad, who were founding/original members, were on the team, they had no idea what they were doing,” she said. “They made stuff up and just tried things they saw. They had no idea if they were doing it right.”

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The Five Seasons Ski Team planning on hosting an alumni ski event, inviting past members to come back for a show this year 2018. The weekly shows begin May 31 at 7 p.m. and are held every Thursday along Ellis Boulevard. The team will host the 2018 Midwest Regional Tournament, July 27-29.

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