December 12, 2013
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It was October 22, 1972 and world speed ski record holder Danny Churchill was attempting to up his own mark of 126 miles an hour in the quarter mile on a single ski.  Danny was being pulled by Mac Christensen’s blown hydro at Long Beach Marine Stadium in front of nearly 10,000 fans.  And Danny’s run went very wrong.  As you can see from the photo sequence, at an estimated 130 mph, he went nose-over on his ski and violently cartwheeled multiple times before coming to a stop. Compounding the severity of the accident was the fact that his parachute jacket deployed but the shroud lines became untangled between his legs.  When he was rushed to a nearby Long Beach hospital, Danny’s massive injuries and extreme blood loss left little hope for recovery. Nearly a year later, Danny left the hospital and ready to resume the rest of his life.  He did ski again, but not competitively.  He did, however, follow his passion for water sports, becoming a very successful entrepreneur in the industry establishing such well known products as the Hydro Slide and the EZ Ski Trainer.  On November 26, 2013, Danny Churchill passed away from natural causes.  Remembered by many as one of the greatest water ski racers of all-time and a world class human being.


Updated: December 12, 2013 at 12:43 am