Lucille Borgen competed at Water Ski Nationals until age 94

Guinness World Record for Oldest Water Skier Overlooks a Legend in the Sport


Guinness World Record for oldest water skier overlooks a legend in the sport

Lucille Borgen competed at Water Ski Nationals until age 94

Lucille Borgen won multiple titles at U.S. Nationals at age 94 (image: The Ledger)

By Jack Burden

Contrary to recent headlines proclaiming a 92-year-old woman as the world’s oldest female water skier, the story overlooks a true legend of the sport. Lucille Borgen, hailing from Babson Park, Florida, not only water-skied into her mid-90s but also competed at the U.S. Water Ski National Championships at the remarkable age of 94, securing the slalom and tricks title in her age division.

Borgen, the oldest competitor ever at the U.S. Nationals, holds a distinguished place in the sport’s history. Inducted into the Florida Water Ski Federation Hall of Fame in 2005, her legacy goes far beyond any Guinness World Record.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Borgen’s journey as a tournament water skier began later in life. Discovering the thrill of the sport at the age of 40, she was hooked on the tournament scene after clinching victory at the Ohio State Championships at 46 in 1959. This marked the beginning of an illustrious career that saw her win more than 30 national titles and break numerous records.

Remarkably, Borgen still holds the Women’s 9 (75-79 years) jump record and the Women’s 11 (85 years and over) slalom record.

Beyond her accomplishments on the water, Lucille Borgen was a dedicated volunteer, always ready to contribute as a boat judge, shore judge, or dock starter. In recognition of her contributions, she received the American Water Ski Educational Foundation’s Award of Distinction in 2005.

Borgen, who survived polio as a child, cancer as an adult, and suffered a complete loss of vision in her left eye at 91, passed away at age 98 on June 8, 2012.

Not to take anything away from Dwan Yong, the Guinness World Record holder for the oldest female water skier, anyone still skiing into their 90s is incredibly impressive. However, Guinness has missed the mark in neglecting a legend of water skiing – Lucille Borgen.