At 88 and 86, Harry and Artis Price know how to have fun. This married couple from Florida are an inspiration to anyone who fears they’re getting too old for certain things. They have participated in more national water skiing championships than anyone else in the history of the sport. In the process, they have earned 150 gold medals… and counting.
In an interview with the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the couple offered their thoughts on their love of the sport—and each other. What is the secret of a happy marriage? According to Harry, “We have a cooperative marriage. There’s no secret (to marriage). You just work at marriage.” Artis added, “You listen to and respect each other and try to drive the boat well,” referring to her driving the boat when her husband practices and vice versa.
Good advice, both figuratively and literally.
Harry has competed since 1955, while Artis began serious training for competitive skiing in 1959. Today, their presence at water skiing competitions is legendary. “It doesn’t seem like it would be nationals without seeing them on the water,” said Scott Atkinson, director of communications for USA Water Ski. “What they have accomplished over the years is tremendous. It’s incredible! They have such positive energy and everyone just loves seeing them at the events, competing and hanging out with the other skiers.”
They won their 150th gold medal (in slalom) at the US Waterskiing Championships in August 2014. According to the US Water Ski Foundation website, “They are pioneers in recording water skiing. Together they have completely documented water skiing in film and video interviews—starting with the [sport’s] inventor Ralph Samuelson to the present year. Water skiing is probably the only sport to have this recorded history.”
In addition to their medals from more than 60 years of competition, Harry and Artis Price have also won the Water Ski hall of Fame Award of Distinction. At their home in DeLeon Springs, Florida, they proudly display more than 50 of their trophies, medals and plaques. Other awards and medals have been donated to the American Water Ski Educational Foundation Hall of Fame and Museum in Polk City.
We’ll have to stay tuned for the results of this couples next national tournament.
by Donna Giachetti