4th November 2019

Jean-Michel Cau

It was with great sadness that IWWF learned the passing of Jean-Michel Cau on Friday 25th October 2019.

Jean-Michel was extremely well known in all waterski circles world-wide having been involved in the sport at least since the 1970’s when he was a trainer in Greece.

He subsequently became the National Technical Director of the French Water Ski Federation and was a driving force for them in establishing a high-level practice process.

Alain Amade said the following about Jean-Michel in a moving tribute on Facebook part of which is shared here:

“When you talk about him with his former athletes, it’s always with emotion and great recognition.

Days were spent developing athlete training strategies whether on the technical aspect of skiing or on the physical preparation of them.

He set up individual programs for each skier by regularly making contact with them.

With Jean-Michel we were always talking about the future of the sport; what to do to bring children to water skiing, how to give good training conditions, how to train judges and drivers.

When Jean Michel was entrusted with a job, we knew he was going to complete it, having studied all the possibilities. He was a hard worker, his office in Roquebrune was truly a place of work with mountains of files on ongoing or upcoming studies. He was a man of trust, who deeply respected the federal world and its leading bodies. He didn’t like to be at the forefront, but preferred to work in the shadow.
It is also Jean-Michel who created the National Centre of Roquebrune. He is the one who found the site, who started the negotiations with Mr. Cabasse, the mayor of the time. He worked with the departments, regional bodies and the ministry of sports to address all administrative constraints. Guy Leprince got the financing of the operation and I (Alain) took care of the technical water ski facilities.

I think Jean Michel, just like me, lived his best moments at the 1995 IWWF World Waterski Championships in Roquebrune. It was certainly the coronation of a career with the victory of the French team. Unforgettable moments, full of emotions, as in a Greek tragedy where we found all the ingredients of success.
Subsequently he spent huge time working on having our sport included in the Mediterranean Games, and assisting all Med countries in training their athletes.”

Jean-Michel was Chair of the IWWF and European Coaching and Development Committees a role he enjoyed enormously.  He put together development programmes for Coaches and for Officials and ran Seminars all over the world on behalf of the IWWF.   He will be sorely missed by his colleagues within the IWWF.

For the last four years he has been battling with cancer, a fight he genuinely believed he could win.

But it was not to be, and he passed away peacefully on the 25th October after his long battle.

He leaves a wife, Maureen and a son, Marc-Antoine and his partner, Olivia.

To them and rest of his family our most sincere condolences.

About the IWWF:  The International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) is the world governing body for towed watersports and has over 90 affiliated Federations worldwide. It was founded in 1946 in Geneva, Switzerland. It is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the sole authority for towed watersports. The IWWF is an affiliate member of the Association of IOC Recognized International Sports Federation (ARISF) and the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). The IWWF’s sports disciplines include, amongst others, Tournament Waterskiing (slalom, tricks & jump), Wakeboard, Cable Wakeboard, Cable Waterskiing, Disabled Waterskiing, Show Skiing, Ski Racing, Barefoot Waterskiing & Wakesurfing

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