Badwater Ski-Ters
invited to China
to Present
Water Ski Shows

Water Ski Team in Liaocheng City, China

Members of the Badwater Ski-Ters have been invited by the Chinese Water Ski Association to participate in the 2006 Sino American Water Ski Shows in China the first week in May 2006.

Skiers Jen Nelson, Nicole Martin, Halee Martin, Joe Kriegl, John Kriegl, and Brent Larson, Announcer Jeneen Martin and Driver Jim Martin along with Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers Justin Bodette, Nicole Taugner, Tressa Haferman, Jeremiah Hoops, Beau Urban, Lindsay Webster, Danielle Bardele, and Shawn Neuberger will travel as guests of the Chinese Water Ski Association to Beijing on April 27 and return to the States on May 12. 

The trip is fully funded by the Chinese Water Ski Association. 

The team will be performing 4 shows in Liaocheng City and 2 shows in Najing.  In addition the team will participate in training days with the Chinese National Show Ski Team and be treated to sightseeing excursions in Beijing and Shanghai.

 Schedule for our trip to Beijing China to perform in the 2006 Sino American Water Ski Shows.

April 27 (Thursday): Departed USA for Beijing. Left Chicago O'Hare Airport at 10 am on United Air Lines after checking in lots of baggage including many pairs of water skis, ropes, wet suits, helmets, costumes, and other gear. Flight was non-stop to San Francisco where we changed planes for our non-stop flight to Beijing. We were flying at 32,000 feet @586 mph for part of our flight. The trip from San Francisco takes a total of 12 hours and 1 minute according to the schedule.

April 28 (Friday): Arrived in Beijing at 4:30 am central time or in the afternoon in China, followed by Peking Duck for dinner and shopping in Beijing.

April 29 (Saturday): Sightseeing in Beijing where we visited the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven.

The Forbidden City in Beijing is a walled palace with 8,700 rooms. It is a series of buildings that range from meeting palaces to resting chambers for the Emperor. Built in the 1400's.

Photo taken just as we entered the Forbidden City.

17 of us in all.

We have a chartered bus with tour guides
along with all of our equipment.

Jeneen, Nicole, Halee, and Jim
Halee crossing the dry lake between buildings.

Sightseeing was followed by a 4 hour bus trip to Liaocheng City and a banquet after arrival.

We will present our first shows here on Monday and Tuesday. The weather has been very warm. Training for our show is scheduled for Sunday. We are very excited about the upcoming shows.

Nicole & Halee and our guides Ella, Mia, & Hellen

Beau Urban on Shoe Skis

Because our guides are translators they have English names. Their Chinese names are too difficult for us to pronounce.  They are Hellen, Mia, Leanne, and Ella. They travel with us the entire trip, stay at our hotels, and speak fluent English. Everyone has treated us as though we are celebrities. So Exciting!

May 1 & 2 (Monday and Tuesday): Ski shows. 2 shows a day. Show will be covered by live TV.

OUR FIRST SHOW

Chinese and Badwater Aqua Skiers
Water Ski Teams

Dragon Boat

Cluster Jump

 

Jim with the Mayor of Liaocheng City

 

Nicole signing autographs

After our first day of shows, we enjoyed the banquet in our honor given by the Chinese Water Ski Federation and the Chinese Sport Federation.

Pictures from our Shows on Tuesday in Liaocheng City

Jerimiah and Tressa

We have beem skiing on Dongchang Lake, located southwest of Liaocheng City in Shandong Province. The construction of the lake started in 1070 (during the Song Dynasty) on the site of the original moat surrounding the ancient city of Liaocheng City, now located in the center of the lake.

Dongchang Lake Touring District is an area of historical and cultural heritage.
This is a picture of the rug in the elevator in our hotel. Everyday they change the carpet in the floor of the elevator to signify the day.
 

 

 
 
We found Ronald McDonald, Chinese style.

We are going to have a chance to do some sightseeing in Liaocheng City and on Thursday we travel by bus to Nanjing where we will be able to do some sightseeing and practice for our next shows.

May 3 (Wednesday): Sightseeing in Liaocheng City

Our Water Ski Team in Dragon Square

Statue is of two dragons fighting over a ball.
Traditional Chinese Theatre

 

 

Temple and "Shopping Mall" Group on stage plays traditional Chinese Music while people shop in the open-air marketplace.

Incense in a traditional Chinese Shopping Mall. People purchase incense, light it, wave it, and pray. Then they put it in the pot and it burns for the day.

May 4 (Thursday): We leave for Nanjing.

On the bus to Nanjing.
Yangzi River

May 5 (Friday): We are training on Xuanwa Lake Park in Naijing, a city of about 6 million people.

John doing the one-ski gainer
Hellen and Mia

We are staying at a 5-Star Hotel in Nanjing with a computer in every room. The sign on the hotel reads: "Warmly Welcome American Sports Team". We were treated to a banquet after training today that was attended by all city officials. Tomorrow the shows will be broadcast on live TV all over China.

Opening Ceremonies

After our show on Saturday morning the team was taken to the Nanjing Memorial Hall.  The site commemorates the massacre of over 300,000 Chinese people during the occupation of China by Japan in 1937.  The massacre was a reminder to all of us the value of peace and friendship.  The entire team was moved by this somber memorial to those that lost their lives during this very difficult time in China's history.

More information on the Nanjing Massacre can be found at: http://www.nj1937.org/english/default.asp

After dinner the team treated our guides to dinner at Pizza Hut with Meat Lovers, Cheese Lovers and breadsticks on the menu.

Sunday Show May 7

Sundays show was under nearly perfect conditions.  Warm, in the 80's, sunny skies, and very little wind.  We were able to bring out some of our more difficult acts which was much appreciated by our Chinese audience.

Beau Urban dazzling the crowd on his shoe skis.
Tressa and Jeremiah doing doubles.
Our Ballet Line

Nicole Taugner, Danielle Bardele,
Tressa Haferman, Nicole Martin,
Jen Nelson Rubin, and Lindsay Webster

Brent "hamming" it up.
Combined Team Strap Doubles

After the show, John, Brent and Joe took 3 of the Chinese teams strap doubles girls out on the water and did several passes to the enjoyment of the Chinese team and the crowd.  It was a true blending of our teams. Shawn and John also jumped with a jumper from the Chinese team.

After the closing ceremony a luncheon was held at our hotel with all of the Dignitaries, the Chinese team, and our team in attendance.  After another wonderful meal, a singing and dancing contest was held between the two teams.  We are good skiers but poor singers.  All in all a wonderful experience.

We then ventured out to the busy street of Fu Zi Miao which is filled with shops of all kinds.  Beautiful lights and decorations mark this walking mall type street.  The most popular item for purchase was chop sticks.  We have all become quite adept at using them.

Tomorrow (May 8th) we are off to visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Mausoleum in Najing. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen was a great pioneer of China's democratic revolution. The Mausoleum was built in 1926 and completed in 1929 with granites from Fujian Province and blue glazed tiles. It has 3 arches filled with lattice copper doors and is located on the slope of Zhongshan Mountain.

Mausoleum Gate carved on which is Dr. Sun's handwriting meaning "The world belongs to the public".

 

This scenic area wins worldwide fame for its majestic construction as well as great personage lying there.

Nicole, Halee and Leanne at the top of the 392 steps that lead to the tomb of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen.

After lunch we said goodbye to Leanne who had to return to Beijing and continue her studies. Leanne and Halee had become close friends and the parting was a sad moment in an otherwise wonderful day. We have all exchanged e-mails and have promised to keep in touch.

We also said goodbye to Zhu zhi na or "na" of the Chinese Water Ski Federation today. She traveled back to Beijing with Leanne. Na was wonderful in helping to coordinate our trip and the team shared many wonderful moments with her.

Later in the day we are off Shanghai as we continue our adventure.

Hellen, Mia, and Ella are continuing with us to Shanghai Monday afternoon along with Mr. Lee who will be our tour guide in Shanghai.

 

We have arrived in Shanghai, a city of 19 million people. New York is around 8 million. Third highest priced real estate in the world behind Tokyo and Hong Kong.

We are going to see Chinese acrobats tonight and tour the Huangpu River by boat in the morning. Both sides of the Huangpu River reflect important aspects of Shanghai.

We went up to the observation deck of the tallest building before packing up our gear for the return trip to Wisconsin.

After a morning in the HuaHai Lu shopping district,  it was time to head out to the airport for our flight home.  Like everything else on our trip this was an experience to be remembered.  We left Longyang Road Subway station for the 19 mile trip to Pudong International Airport on board the Shanghai Transrapid Maglev train.  The Maglev train, the first and only one of it's kind in the world, reaches speeds of over 260 miles per hour and the entire trip took less than 7 and a half minutes.  Operating on the principle of magnetic levitation,  the train, which has no wheels, actually flies 10 millimeters above the glideway or track by means of magnetic repulsion.  Other magnets provide the force necessary for propulsion and braking.  With no wheels the train is incredibly quiet and we passed cars on the freeway next to the glideway as if they were standing still.  Pudong International is a modern architecturally fascinating airport and many thanks have to go to United Airlines for handling our 34 bags of personal gear and ski equipment with care and professionalism.

The biggest thanks for making this trip possible have to go to:
Mr. Zhang dan,  Zhu zhi na, and all of the members of the Chinese Water ski Association.   Dedicated professionals who share our passion for the sport.
Mia, Hellen, Ella and Leanne.  You are simply the best.
Liaocheng city and the Shuicheng Group.
Nanjing city and the Jiangning Development Zone.
The Chinese National Water Ski Team.  Great skiers,  great people, and now friends.
The people of China for your wonderful hospitality and your friendship.
Our families and friends at home who supported us during our absence.

Badwater Ski-Ters

Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers

 

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Photos by Halee Martin

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