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2017 National Championships podium skiers: Are you proud of your medal?

InboardfixInboardfix Posts: 112 Baller
edited August 2017 in Other Stuff
Yes, I know everyone of you are and should be proud of your achievement. It was attained through hours of hard work and the end result was a well deserved placement at Nationals. But are you proud of the medal? Attached are pictures of the front and back of the medal received by my son who placed 2nd in Boys 1 Slalom ( I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my daughter placed 2nd in Girls 2 for the 2nd year in a row).

After Jake received his medal (in the dark under an unlit tent where the podium was located. This will be the topic of my next forum subject) he said to me the medal didn't say "Nationals" anywhere on it. Since he is 10 I thought for sure he was mistaken (when he couldn't find his socks that morning I looked where I told him to look and they were there) so I looked it over and sure enough there is no mention of this medal being from the 2017 National Championships.

Initially, I was frustrated w/the host site until being informed the awards were the sole responsibility of USAwaterski. In addition to the competitors medal I've attached a picture of the "Officials" medal. For some reason, "Let them eat cake" came to my mind. USAwaterski should be ashamed.



  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,024 Mega Baller
    edited August 2017
    "Thankfully," I will never have to worry about this. But those do seem pretty lame compared to such a monumental accomplishment. You didn't even mention the sticker (or maybe direct-printed, which I suppose is slightly better) rather than actually engraving!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • MattPMattP Posts: 5,973 Mega Baller
    @Inboardfix I embedded your pics for you.
    USAWS is responsible for the medals...

    I would think that the Officials medals were ordered in bulk many moons ago due to MOQs and live in a box in HQ and they pull a handful out every year.

    As for the skier medals looks as they were struck by a different company and were done in a way that they could meet MOQs to save on engraving the location every year as the sticker does that. Agreed it is sad that they do not say Nationals on them...
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 275 Solid Baller
    edited August 2017
    Maybe it was USAW'S supplier that made a mistake, and USAWS did not catch it. I compared my 2010 medal to my 2017 medal, and they are very, very similar except that the 2010 medal does say NATIONAL WATER SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS on the back. They look like they could have been made by the same company. I'm guessing that the intent was to have Nationals on the medals. I don't know what happened or who to blame - if anyone.
  • jdarwinjdarwin Posts: 1,379 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I guess the graphic on the back would distinguish it from Kneeboard Nationals.....
    Joe Darwin
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 976 Crazy Baller
    Take it to a local trophy shop while he's at school and tell him they fixed it. It should be on there.
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,058 Mega Baller
    To make your generic medals more display worthy and meaningful, get missing event information embroidered on the ribbon.

    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,516 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    I'm totally proud of my medal. Not sure I even looked at it past checking the color. Bit it though!

    They should probably put more effort into junior medals.

  • WishWish Posts: 7,273 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @disland with that logic a certificate printed off my inkjet printer in BW should be good enough or maybe something hand written. There's a threshold. Thinkn these medals for a national competition is damn close to that threshold for most especially for the kids.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • malski64malski64 Posts: 5 Baller
    The contract with USA waterski is negotiable but unless the loc wanted to do something diffferent then USA waterski provides the medals. As anyone knows the cost of the medals has a lot to do with numbers so USA waterski tries to be generic so they're able to use the same medal in all the sports divisions.
    We negotiated a change at broadside last year so we provided a different medal. Terry winter worked with us to design the medal. We were lucky to have terry working with us on that.
    I don't have any pics of them on my phone but like em' or not, they were different.
    I'd love to see USA waterski to make them more specific but it's a numbers game.
  • GKGK Posts: 138 Baller
    I kind of agree with you. I was expecting a little better for the National Championships.

    I thought the Nationals were great this year but the Junior awards were a disaster and Boys 1 was the worst. No announcer, no lights, during night jump, beyond rushed and lot's of confusion. Hopefully it's not the only opportunity my son gets to stand on the podium and be recognized as the National Champion but we all know how difficult it is to get there and sometimes how the stars have to align if you're not lucky enough to ski on a man made site and train year round. I'm not complaining, it's not going to make any difference in the long run, it was just disappointing. A bunch of volunteers worked their butts off all weekend, did a great job, and someone with good intentions to recognize the juniors during the banquet just made a mistake. If anyone has a decent picture of the B1 awards I would greatly appreciate getting a copy. gk at I've got some but none are very good. Maybe we can compare and find the best of bunch for all to keep in the scrapbook.

    I would strongly recommend for future events that awards are done immediately after the event when the kids are in their ski gear, have their equipment, etc. If you want to recognize them a 2nd time at the Junior Banquet then by all means do that too.
    Greg Kuenning - Cincinnati, OH
  • malski64malski64 Posts: 5 Baller
    Two problems I see with tshirts. While I like the concept it's probably not feasible.
    In bulk a nice tshirt with the exact same screen print will cost $10-$15 each. To change the print to be specific the cost is higher. Plus they don't last like a medal might.
    A decently sized and weighted metal in quantity is probably more like $6 or $7 each. To have them engraved specific to a division and event adds a fair amount to that. As I recall 31 different divisions in total. 3 events per division, 5 places per... just under 500 medals in total and that's before overall.
    Not all the divisions will have 5 each so the number comes down a bit but that makes planning a big challenge as well.
    Do you want to be sitting on placements without medals for someone chancing the numbers (given medals have to be ordered 3 months or so ahead of time)? He'll no.

    I think the USA waterski medals are cheesy year after year...the reason we wanted to be different last year. It's a huge undertaking though and financially a big deal to the LOC or usa waterski. That being said some of the comments I've read here would make a good case to ask the AWSA BOD to make some changes...either from USA waterski or make a change to the contract for each year's nationals.
    Sure $6-7 per medal compared to a $170 entry fee sounds minimal but the budget is pretty damned right foe this tournament and it does become a big deal.

    Award presentations are always a challenge. Many of us have tried making changes yet getting everyone together and on the same page is nearly impossible. Some people want them right away and some want to wait. With many, one or two of the winners end up judging or working a following event and not able right away. I agree that we all should be doing a better job to have a consistent awards ceremony...just don't really know what the answer is.
  • spicolispicoli Posts: 120 Baller
    After our state championships awards for kids was a metal and the dad of 1 bought the top 3 boys a little trophy and gave it to them few days later
  • InboardfixInboardfix Posts: 112 Baller
    @liquid d and @dchristman on the 12 hour drive home we came up w/a plan to dress up the medal as you mentioned. Probably going to go the customized ribbon route along w/putting it in frame with pictures from the flash drive (sold on site) as a back ground. It will be nice and something he'll want to show off to his friends.

    @disland I appreciate your comment, it made me laugh and shake my head. @Wish thank you for your response. It was perfect and much less smart ass than what I would have said.

    @JeffSurdej This wasn't written as a whiny Dad but rather a concerned long time skier who thinks USAwaterski is missing the big picture. USAwaterski is competing for kids time and effort. My son plays soccer and this Nationals medal isn't even as ornate as the medal he gets in the off-season playing "Y" rec league not to mention the ones he gets in season on his travel team. USAwaterski needs to realize the kids should get a reward that makes them want to stick w/it rather than go do one of the many other options available to them. Yes, I am saying the kids should get treated better than us old farts (directed at you @eleeski and @Inboardfix )

    Do you think if he showed his soccer buddies this medal they'd say "oh wow, we've got to start skiing so we can earn that medal"? My guess is after looking at it the polite ones would walk away thinking good grief he went to TX for that and the rude ones would start ridiculing it immediately.

    The reality is the kids at this Nationals got the shaft. If time allows later this evening I will go into great detail about the awards ceremony for G1 and B1 on a different thread. Here's a teaser: the G1 weren't allowed to take the medals out of the plastic bag because they were told there wasn't time. Boys 1 were told the same thing but I got involved/defiant/really mad/serious jerk mode and time was made for them to put on their medals. Can't say it got any worse but it didn't get much better after that.

    @GK I will send you what I have. As you know the lighting consisted of flash so the quality is n't great but maybe better than what you have.

    @malski64 Thank you for a wonderful Nationals experience last year. Was really hoping your site was going to do it again for 2017. Attached are pictures of the awesome medal from last year. @MattP sorry if I'm attaching thing wrong.

    @Horton Exactly, this is about the juniors. However, I think it is reasonable for all podium finishers to receive an award that states the event's name. This wasn't a grass roots tournament and I am pretty certain this medal is the exact one USAwaterski sends out in their grass root package.
  • spicolispicoli Posts: 120 Baller
    Told them it needed ingraving and shipped to them later
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 151 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    To say the medal ceremonies were not well planned or organized and the medals were lacking is an understatement. Both my wife and myself were fortunate to medal, but waiting 3-4 hours at the end of a hot day for the medals to be handed out took the bloom off the rose.

    I understand that tricks is dependent on judging, but the ceremony for slalom and jump should be/could be held on the hour for the events that have been concluded since the previous ceremony. Currently too many of the participants ended up leaving before the ceremony as they either got feed up and left, or had a flight to catch.

    Additionally I would also recommend that the official responsible for the awards/medals, organize and prepare the medals before everyone is standing around waiting for the ceremony to start.
  • jcampjcamp Posts: 684 Crazy Baller
    I believe in years past they did present awards closer to the conclusion of each event. The problem was that when you hand out awards in a series of one-offs, there isn't a crowd gathered (except for maybe the families of the five skiers on the podium). So the thought was to have two ceremonies during the day, so that each ceremony would have a lot of people watching and be more special.

    I think with the exception of this year, it has worked well. This year the surge in participation numbers and shortening the event by one day made some of the events go really late at night, thus pushing back the awards ceremony, with Saturday being an unfortunate confluence of events.

    The surge in numbers is great, but it caught organizers off guard because people don't have to register until Aug. 4 (I'm guilty of waiting until then!) so by the time the big registration numbers were coming it it was too late to change the schedule much.
  • JeffSurdejJeffSurdej Posts: 371 USAWS Official
    Do you think kids prefer trophies over medals?
    AWSA President
  • WishWish Posts: 7,273 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited August 2017
    Trophy. But it depends. Doesn't have to be large but a cheap plastic one with plastic bases will prob feel worse then a solid medal. Also consider the quality of the ribbon the medal is attached to. That can also cheapen what you are trying to achieve. Perhaps wood plaques with lazer cut engraving could work. What ever it is has to have a good feel if that makes sence. I think it is great you are looking for input and suggestion. It is refreshing and you should be commended @JeffSurdej
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • LLUSALLUSA Posts: 240 Crazy Baller
    @JeffSurdej we gave at the Southern Regionals 32" tall trophies with 3 skiers on them for the overall winner, biggest hit of the tournament, but then again these trophies were $65 each, well worth the money. No complaints from 2nd, they know what it takes to win.
    LLUSA, Sr Driver, AWSA Board of Directors, Towboat Committee,Lake Owner
  • JeffSurdejJeffSurdej Posts: 371 USAWS Official
    If it was limited to something such as the winner i think it would be feasible financially to do. I agree a large trophy for kids would be good, I know kids that go to races and walk home with trophies bigger than them, I wonder which sport they would rather go compete in?

    Part of our issue is the overall # of awards required, 32 divisions, times 5 placements times 4 events. Even at $10 a crack you are sitting at a $6400 award bill. But I see no reason not to splurge on the kids and other groups such as each winner and/or overall.
    AWSA President
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,024 Mega Baller
    Please spend money on quality trophies for kids.

    Please do not ever give me one. I have nowhere to put such things. (Ok, I guess if I won at Nationals, I'd make a place for it.) My guess would be most adults think similarly.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 786 Crazy Baller
    I've often wondered why top 5. Don't most sports recognize top 3? That would reduce your award bill by 40%.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,172
    @JeffSurdej - The preference is likely a trophy, but you can't tell me there isn't real pride in the pic below of my son receiving a medal at Regionals. Just make it special for the kids, I view that as the absolute highest priority for the future of the sport...Thanks for all you're doing

    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • GKGK Posts: 138 Baller
    This is Nationals, let's give Top 5 and all ages awards, but I agree that junior awards could be a little bigger and better. I squeaked out a 5th place overall at Nationals last year, my one and only Nationals medal (and maybe last). I proudly have that baby hanging in my office! Haha
    Greg Kuenning - Cincinnati, OH
  • WishWish Posts: 7,273 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @JeffSurdej even at pro events the checks are different sizes. Nothing says 1st to 5th needs the same size award or even the same type.

    Consider etched glass as well. Again, if it feels cheap, it will be perceived that way.

    Consider bibs for the kids as well. If they win 1st-3rd, they get a bib to wear next year to defend their title.

    I do not think quality has to be overly expensive with a little digging and thinking outside the box which I feel your willing to do and that is awesome.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
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