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Reply with quote  #1 
Yep 10 years like it was yesterday. Forget stumbling around 4 and making the pass, but how do you almost two-hand 6 ball at 41??? How could "experts" be so daft? really it's mind boggling

35 off
Reply with quote  #2 
-would have been his top pass....
Reply with quote  #3 
why does everyone announce the run like text-to-speech robots

"7 set, 41 off" ......."this is the M5"

anyone want to take a stab at the narration. 

Sound like "falling over" 

or was that what ss was doin'? [tongue]
Reply with quote  #4 
@spaceodyssey  My guess is that this was the "boat video" that would have been submitted to approve any record. The judge wanted to be sure that everything was covered. 
New skis
Reply with quote  #5 
I have heard many rumours, not sure if they are all true, but did this man cheat at a professional level by winching the buoys??
New skier
Reply with quote  #6 
Not sure if the rumours are true can someone please clarify, did micheals have a cable course where he would winch the buoys in narrow for himself??
Was There
Reply with quote  #7 
Simple answer.  Yup.
Reply with quote  #8 
Michaels owns a big house, private lake and held tournaments at his site. There was a cable setup that pulled the balls in using a garage door opener.

Note that best thing to do is make the course longer, not narrower. Making a course narrow will increase scores, but misses the purpose of slalom - which is to be stretched. By going longer you gain some time but still train at full width.

Anyway, the wannabes and believers were oohing and ahhing that JM was putting down a couple at 43, when the world record was a few at 41.

So these scores got the attention of waterski mag, schnitz, coaches and competitors. There was huge contingent of skeptics but these voices were bit bullied by posts and articles such as "the Man who would be King". JM also declared his assault on the 58Kph field as well.   

OK I think the whole thing snowballed probably a bit more than he expected. JM's plan was to throw money at it, train with the best and how hard could it be?? So HO sponsored him and he switched to a Monza, completely different than the OB Mapple ski. 

The inside scoop was a bit hush hush. The legit word was this guy was a bit of a hack and a 35 skier on a good day. the establishment was getting annoyed by all the sudden attention.

the charade climaxed at the Malibu Open held at his place. I don't think it was the master plan, but Mr. Chess player had boxed himself in - he was skiing crap and to save face had to pull the trigger on the cable system at the Pro event. Problem was there was a jump course in line with the slalom and with the buoys bobbing like beaver heads... "how dumb does this guy thing we are?" on a phone call from his site minutes after.

Mapple forced his way into the little top-secret lakeside "pump" shed to reveal the entire system of motors, linkages, cables and surveillance systems.  

And the emperor was without clothes. And the man who would be king, was in fact a bit of a fool. 

Reply with quote  #9 
well said.......
Reply with quote  #10 
It was the greatest time in slalom skiing's history! We need a few good scandals here and there to get some attention. Can anybody top that?
Reply with quote  #11 
what a disgraceful wanna be athlete, does any body no if he recieved a fine or any sort of punishment.
The Board
Reply with quote  #12 
Banned by the Board for 7 years
Steve B.
Reply with quote  #13 
I'll be the first to admit I thought he was a legit competitive skier.

The thought never crossed my mind about a rigged system. I still wonder how well he skied at other sites. Was there alway's excuses for less bouy's.  It even made national news for a day or so !

Steve B.
Frank W
Reply with quote  #14 
I heard he was likely on juice too.  Douche.
Reply with quote  #15 
Dr Jim, do you have anything to say for your lack of talent self?
Reply with quote  #16 
Easy to say now, but on that video, the course looks narrow.  I'm surprised no one picked up on it earlier.  What is Dr Jim doing now?  Does he still ski?
Reply with quote  #17 
many skiers did know it was can't run 39 or 41 without getting way up on the boat. This guy was back around the rear corners of the boat. It was easy to spot and many did. When Malibu was to his site, so many of us knew the shiiiaaaat was going to hit the fan, and the truth would come out.  I personally thought he might pull an injury to keep the ruse going.
Reply with quote  #18 
Awesome 2005 preseason write up by the WaterSki Mag just showing how confident he was... What an ass!

Love him or hate him, everyone this off-season has been talking about Dr. Jim Michaels. Even slalom icon Andy Mapple got in on it when he called Michaels one night last December, suggesting the gossip is nonstop because he's “the mystery man.”

Nothing like Michaels has ever hit the water-ski world before. The scuttlebutt has been rippling since the Wisconsin dentist first came out of nowhere to peck away at the slalom record for 34 mph. After he shattered that mark yet again last August with an official score of 2 at 43 off on his private lake in Dousman, Wisconsin, Michaels made a couple remarkable New Year's resolutions for 2005. “I have two primary objectives: to compete effectively at the Malibu Open and to break the 36 mph world record,” he told WaterSki at a gym workout in Florida this past December.
Those goals of skiing alongside pros and besting the hallowed 1 at 43 off have provoked a torrent of opinions, as if, well, a 48-year-old, 5-foot-11 dentist from Wisconsin had said he could break Barry Bonds' home-run record. On the Skifly online slalom discussion board, for example, the “Dr. Jim” thread at one point had 225 replies. Runner-up “Monza/Sixam” had 95. Pro skier Drew Ross has instructed Michaels in the past, yet even he was taken aback by this latest twist. “Really good skier, strong guy, nice guy, good commitment,” Ross says. “But do I think he's capable of competing with us? Not even close.”
Yet others aren't so quick to dismiss him. Tech guru Steve Schnitzer has said since last July that Michaels, who Schnitzer first saw in 1998 as a 35-off skier, could break the world record: “Jim has everything it takes to accomplish what he has set out to do.” Longtime ski and wakeboard coach Mike Ferraro has been working with Michaels extensively and says, “Jim has taken the most professional approach to slalom skiing that I've seen in 25 years.”
Michaels decided on his 2005 quest at the end of last season when he felt he should ski exclusively at 36 mph, a speed he had been working to improve at for a year, getting into 41 off 100 percent of the time. At that speed in a September set at Matt Rini's ski school near Orlando, Michaels recalls, “With a tournament driver, with good times, I got 21¼2 at 43 off. I actually thought I was going to run 43, which is probably why I screwed up. I surprised myself out of 2 and got out of the moment.” Ferraro adds that when the rope was measured, it came up 6 inches short. Rini will only say of Michaels, “I've seen him do amazing things when he trains, and it will be exciting to see him take his practice abilities to tournaments in 2005.”[michaels_ski_140x95]
Whether or not Michaels can have that type of performance in an official tournament setting this year, his out-of-the-box approach to skiing could set a new precedent. When WaterSki caught up with Michaels, he had flown himself and one of his three personal trainers to the Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in southeast Orlando for two days in the gym with Kai Fusser, elite trainer to stars such as golf's Annika Sorenstam. Michaels has also consulted top minds in snow skiing, short-track speed skating and chess, and has gone through the NFL combine test. “I don't watch guys who water ski,” he says. “I watch people in other sports.”
His eyes spark when he remembers a photo he once studied of Michael Jordan. Michaels jumps up from the workout bench to act out the way Jordan blew past a defender without taking a single step, shoulder by the guy's head. The key was not to start in the traditional feet-apart basketball stance, pushing off with the left foot to move to the right. Instead, Jordan's feet were close together, and he had hinged his ankles to make his body instantly freefall in the direction he wanted to go. “That was a huge revelation for me,” Michaels says. “We're trying to move our mass sideways. I'm discovering everything is the same — basketball, football, snow skiing, water skiing. It's a body in motion.”
What isn't the same is Michaels' off-season regimen this year. Rather than diving into the ski season cold turkey at his own lake in late spring, he'll be traveling to Florida every other week, starting in late February. He stopped racing airplanes, another hobby, which has freed up more time and energy. He has tweaked his diet and is working out seven days a week, three of which for three-hour sessions, to get his body fat down to 7 percent. And he'll incorporate Fusser's biomechanics expertise into his preparations.
How that comes together could be the story of the year, depending on whether all of it allows Michaels to achieve his goals. “He could be the 'great white hope' for slalom skiing,” Ferraro says. “There's hope for us 40ish guys who want to have a job, want to slalom at a high level and want to do other things, travel and have friends. Here's this guy who's able to enjoy the sport and enjoy life.”
Or this story could be the bust of the summer. Ross predicts that, in looking at the likely list of competitors that Michaels would face in a pro tournament, “I think he'd have a hard time beating No. 30. I think he could run 39 off at 36, but he'd be pressed to the max to do that.”
That's impressive, but a far cry from 1 at 43 off and beyond. Yet if the world record does become his, Michaels acknowledges he would not be the No. 1 skier. “Andy's the best,” he says. “He's the best at any speed. That will just mean I hold the record. He's still better than me. He has this long record of superb performance. I don't have that.”
And if he achieves his goal, what's next for Michaels? Fusser chimes in with a suggestion: “There's always golf.”

[michaels_mug_140x95]Prescription for success
The exercises themselves aren't as important as you might think. Last December, Dr. Jim Michaels flew to Orlando for a two-day workout with Kai Fusser, water skier turned personal trainer. Fusser put Michaels through the paces, not necessarily to drive home how many reps to do on which equipment, but to have the body memorize three fundamentals of athletic movement, and a fourth for the psyche.

1. Abs tight.
Whether Michaels is twisting with the medicine ball or crouching in a ballet move, Fusser repeats this mantra: “Abs tight, abs tight. It's easier to think about than anything out here,” Fusser says, motioning to Michaels' outstretched arms. That point becomes clearer on the pulley. “The arm is just an extension of your tow rope,” Fusser says. “Abs in, rotate, and slowly let the handle back. Feel your abs control the speed. They control the movement.” Michaels understands: “Try to take it away from my arms.”

2. Stance centered.
In the crouching move borrowed from ballet (called a plié), when the left foot swings behind the right, Fusser says, “Your flexibility increases in your hips.” Fusser favors a stance in which the hips are rolled forward a little bit, making the posture straight and the body centered. “If somebody pushes you, they can't push you over,” he says. “A good stance will teach your body to have a good foundation to work off of.”

3. Spine aligned.
As they work around the gym, Fusser wants Michaels to keep an eye on the mirror. “When you're stacked, forces can go straight up and down your body, not at an angle where a lot of power gets lost,” Fusser says. “Draw an imaginary line on the mirror. You don't want your spine to go out of line.”

4. Mind cleared.
er points to his golf-star client Annika Sorenstam as letting her body swing the club without conscious thought. “She doesn't think about her mechanics at all?” Michaels asks. “Zero,” Fusser says. “Is it possible to clear your mind for 16 seconds?” Michaels wonders, imagining getting into the zone with these fundamentals and staying there for the entire slalom course. That's the big question. — C.T.

Dr. Jim Michaels addresses what's being said about him.

He's only good at his own private site.
“I have performed at many, many sites. I actually find my site more difficult than sites in Florida. I ski primarily at home, but who doesn't?”

He doesn't use a legit boat path or legit times.
“I've skied with ropes that were even too short, in hot boat times, in crosswinds, et cetera.”

He can't handle the pressure of tournaments.
“I've found that I ski the same at practice as I do in a tournament, no matter the boat or which site it is. Maybe there's less pressure on me than others because it's not my career.”

His muscle mass is suspicious.
“I went from 182 to 195 pounds over a year and a half through cleaning up my diet and working my ass off. It's hard work is all it is.”

He can't possibly have all this time to train, ski and work.
“I don't engage in frivolous social activity, and I don't watch TV. I get to work by 7:30, home by 5.”

Reply with quote  #19 
When you look at his dedication, it's no wonder he achieved at such a high level. Best coaches on and off the water; dedication to fitness, diet and mind; no wasting time on TV, plane racing, chess, karate; Specially made course and ropes....leave no stone un-turned and you too can achieve at a high level.
Steve B.
Reply with quote  #20 
I read a little about it the other day too. Yes, there was this scandal 10 years ago.

To me that's long enough to forgive and forget. I hope he's skiing still and doing other good things.

I'm sure he's learned from it and I think the skiing community has too.

Steve B.

Reply with quote  #21 
Reading this WSM article all over again in retrospect makes me wonder if not Rini and Ferraro were fully aware of the scam.
C'mon, 2 1/4 @43 off 36 mph standing 5'11 with a rope 6" short.
Imagine Ferraro saying that out loud, really sounds like a big joke.
I think they knew, they were just going to let him make a big fool of himself.
Now,just how gullable is Schnitz???
Reply with quote  #22 
Drew friggin knew it...he was trying to be nice to a guy who was paying for lessons! read between the did dougger. He knew it was going to blow up...You can't fake it at even 38 and tell someone you're gonna run 41!
Reply with quote  #23 
Originally Posted by skier
Drew friggin knew it...

would drew of competed against him, I am sure he would of let the cat out of the hat..

He's a dentist.. Not a doctor.
Reply with quote  #24 
wow that waterski mag either distorts, exacerbates or frames how it was. How Dr. Jim compares himself to Andy is a bit twisted! Oh "like yeah when I hold the record, Andy will still be the best."

Michael's dental practice looks like it is going well. And he did invite everyone over to his place for the Malibu party.

The first thing I said was - the course is hooped. Answer back " it was surveyed before the tournament and again" and we were like "really - it's not looking right at all" rope??  "nope - rope was legit". Gotta be something in the water of that lake then, like a funky chemical  I was thinking.  Especially based on that 41 off video.

Also you know, why would someone do that? It just made no sense, to effectively ski a "mini-course" what they hell is the satisfaction of that? It's so so lame that no slalomer of sound mind and body would give up 2 feet at the ball.  A few inches, sink the balls low, driver swerve maybe, but two feet is utterly ridiculous. 

Hooped course
Reply with quote  #25 
the guy is a psycho weirdo not sane not of this world who does this crazy cant fathom that he is a real person living on this planet practicing dentistry on humans who would go visit this guy seems too twilight zoneish would you let him fill a cavity? probably end up with an underbite
Captain O
Reply with quote  #26 
Let's see, apologized...once he got caught with overwhelming evidence...after trying to hide that overwhelming evidence.... in a speech... prepared by a crisis management professional. Sure wish I could have been there to witness the Barry Bonds/Lance Armstrong of our sport get busted.  There were obviously smart people that knew something was up. Personally I was watching videos thinking "he sure doesn't look like the best skier (or even in the top 100) what has he figured out here?"

I'm all for forgiving somebody that is reformed and sincere, just not sure we have that here. 
tech guy
Reply with quote  #27 
so what about the "skiing by coordinates" ? does someone stil, thinks it´s da bomb to make 41 look like 28 ?
Reply with quote  #28 
I'd love to try that coordinates stuff but I can't find the keypad to enter them into my ski.
Reply with quote  #29 
Yes we all can forgive, but I think it is tougher because of his trash talk about his skiing and breaking the record.  If you saw Dr Jim on the starting dock, you know that there would be some smart comment about the width of the course.  I think we all can forgive, but skiers will ridicule him for life.  One of our local lakes even has a fake button on the boat house starting dock as a joke.  If you are nice to the dock starter, he will push it to narrow the course.  I can't see it ever going away and Dr Jim will always only ski on his own lake.
Reply with quote  #30 
fake button  I like that.

This is waterskiing, no $ exchanged hands, except from Jim to coaches etc.

I can't see there even being a need to forgive or penalize - ie 7 years is excessive for what? Spending his weekends doing something else anyway, big deal.

It's the freak show that is sport - all sports. Buoys are like money, social status. He leveraged that social awe and respect that one gets at the top, by moving the goalposts.  Nice joke.

I somehow think one just cheats themselves in a way.

He tested the system and the system won.. the slalom course does not lie

Reply with quote  #31 
he still skis at his own lake,  , there's alot of goofs that hold their own tourneys on their own lake avoid costs of traveling, but only he did this crap.  It had made skiing interesting.

i'm glad the in the knows, and the ones that new let it happen to expose it, lots of fun, never heard who the trigger man was though? anyone know?
Reply with quote  #32 
I just saw that video for the first time! wholy crap, he sucks! the intensity of his skiing and refinement looks like 15 off 32 mph .  awesome!

nobody watching or what?
Reply with quote  #33 
>>who the trigger man was though?

it was schnitz, all liquored on mona-vie and vodka to git his courage up. or was that to trigger the camera?? oh well worked for both anyway. 
Dr. Drewbie
Reply with quote  #34 
I got my specs on an I'm calling you Dr. Jim to come on here and talk talk about slalom or chess or planes or porsches or hgh - pick your topic!! Consider us friends, we are skiers. 
Reply with quote  #35 
We've seen buoys bounce/move from wildlife but this is ridiculous!

Attached Images
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Missing You
Reply with quote  #36 
Nothing like a good ol slalom skiing scandal. Dr J, you have changed the way we view cheaters in the skiing world. It used to be we would look for things like long handles, questionable boat path or speed, courses on the minimum/maximum tolerance, but you said F that. Let's go for the home run and shake this sport up. What could possibly go wrong? First let's demolish the 55k "record", well that was relatively easy. OK let's take on all the best skiers in the world and smash the 58k record. Oh shhhiiittt, those guys aren't as dumb as I thought they were. The apology didn't sound very sincere to me.  Question is, did he pull it off by himself? Not that it matters.
For some reason this whole situation fascinated me and I expected more coverage.
Reply with quote  #37 
He had a couple of weightlifting buddies that were in on it too. Had to run to the shed to pull on the course. Ferraro and rini and Ross should've known. When you pull a rope on at ski school you have a feel for how many loops. He just showered them with money and praise. Not until he started ripping on pros for being entitled kids hanging at mommy and daddy's lake did they start looking for the truth.
Scot should repost the whole thread.
A few said No way from the beginning and were accused of being jealous/whatever. I know a guy who said something was wrong, there is no way, the guy could maybe scrap a 32 like that. Anyone have the HO poster??
Reply with quote  #38 
If I recall, Drew Ross was one of the first (and most vocal) to call bullsh!t. 
Reply with quote  #39 
Let's not forget that Tonya Harding put figure skating on the map.
Reply with quote  #40 
Didn't the good Doctor survive a private plane crash in 2010? or was that a hoax too LOL
Reply with quote  #41

Odd.  Not a word about his water skiing exploits, shelter for homeless puppies or his cure for cancer....
Reply with quote  #42 
We just kicked-off a new ski program and our the first subject is the Dr.  Enjoy the story!

Reply with quote  #43 
it's an insult to anyone in the Big Dawg series to say that wackenut could have competed at that level. His skiing sucked. The guy that recorded the youtube video of him running 41 should have stopped the boat and got out. I would have just made them take me back to the dock shaking my head. How could anyone watching that think that it was really 41 off. 

When the first time video that showed him running 41 showed up online, it was immediately obvious. I pulled it up the moment my ski buds showed up the next morning to ski. 3 quick calls of BS...we all laughed, and went out back for a set.

Pulling the bouys in 3 feet, is not the same as adding 3 feet of line. It's way easier. 
Been there
Reply with quote  #44 
Skied a 4 buoy head to head along time ago where the buoys where pulled in 1 foot due to a crappy downtown site and exhibition purposes. That equalled at least a full shortening, probably more if the conditions would have been decent.
after: thoughts
Reply with quote  #45 
All we needed as "proof" would have been a photo of the course, that included the gates and turn balls. Then with scale from the boat gates, get an approx read on the width.  That would have at least been the smoking gun. 

I mean this charade went all the way to the Malibu Open, which to put in context is corporately equivalent to CC masters. 

Compete @ big dawg means enter an event and ski. Compete doesn't mean sweet 16 or head to head finals!

I had a buddy do the arms on a new course installation. We sunk the thing in place and I went to ski it with some family that just had travelled in. So I hit this course and holy crap 28 opener was wild. Shortened to 32 off it was like I was trying to run 38'. Killing myself, couldn't do it.  I didn't figure the course must be wide until the next day. It wasn't obvious at first.

But the formula worked out about x2. So 1 foot at the ball = 2 feet of rope. 3 feet narrow would ski really weird. 

Overinflated, high buoys +6"
Sinking them - 6"

Todd McLennan
Reply with quote  #46 
The guy was so arrogant, even around the true pros in our sport. Something seemed wrong even before I saw him ski. One year at Surf Expo we went to lunch with CP, Lucky and Dr Jim. I was Chris's agent at the time and we had just secured a great sponsorship. Dr Jim said in an overconfident tone,"I may want you to be my agent too Todd, what sponsors could you get me?" I said I wasnt interested in being his agent and could only think of one sponsor that might possibly be interested in an athlete like him" . He took the bait and said sort of smugly " what sponsor?" I paused until everyone was listening.... "Viagra, it gets you up and going when your body cant!". Lucky and CP about fell off their chairs but Dr Jim just turned red. He never asked me about sponsors again and one year later we all learned the truth. Maybe his course should have little blue pill shaped buoys? It's just an idea, not all ideas are good ones[wink]
Reply with quote  #47 
maybe you guys shouldn't judge the man by his actions but by the real person he was inside , not the acting job he was pulling off in front of the waterski comunity ...

I only met the guy a few times but he taught me a few great things about dieting and staying in shape , he welcomed me into his house and we had some great talks , I never bought into his skiing scam , I actually couldnt care less about slalom skiing so I wasn't as passionate about it as all of you were ...

just my experience of him ... great guy , bad choices when it came to skiing , if I didn't know better could have been the most humbling thing he did towards a community of skiers who think way to much of themselves when actually no one is making a decent living out of it and everyone calls themselves pros ...
Steve B.
Reply with quote  #48 
Ah the memories. It's only been 10 years.

Steve B.
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