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  • Andy Mapple Remembered


    August 24, 2015

    On Saturday August 22nd the world lost not only a great athlete but a great man. Andy Mapple was the best athlete our sport of waterskiing has ever seen. His accomplishments on the water are second to none. His competitiveness, drive, and relentless pursuit of perfection on a slalom ski are all well documented but it was the man off the water and the friend for many years that will be missed. The Andy smile, the quick laugh, and the unbelievable sense of humor is what will be remembered.

    Andy spent most of his competitive life skiing on an O'Brien ski; working with O'Brien's engineers on design, and trying for perfection. Even in recent years, after going out on his own with Mapple skis, he was still a big part of the O'Brien family. One of my many personal fond memories came from the first time I got to really spend some quality time getting to know Andy. Coeur d'Alene Idaho, late summer 1991, I attended my first sales meeting after joining O'Brien. We were going skiing on the river and I volunteered to get in the water first. Standing on the platform of the boat getting ready to ski, the engine started and when I looked up, it was Andy in the driver's seat. I am sure the look of horror on my face is what sparked that smile and quick laugh from Andy along with a comment about what was taking me so long. Like most slalom skiers, Andy was who I looked up to in the skiing world and here he was about to be my boat driver for the set.

    Over the years, as my responsibilities with O'Brien grew, so did my friendship with Andy. I worked on many projects with Andy and got to see firsthand how his passion for waterskiing made him a fierce competitor which also gave him the drive to succeed in business and in life.

    But it was Andy off the water and away from the business that I admired most. There was no ego, there was no pretense, and he was simply a kind human being. He loved to talk about family and what the kids were up to next. He would invariably end every conversation with " let me know if you need anything as he was walking away. the world a better place having andy in it and i am person for him friend. will be missed greatly but forged my memory is that smile quick laugh....>

    Pete Surrette
    GM – O'Brien Watersports



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