World record holder and eight-time U.S. Masters Champion Kristi Overton Johnson announced her retirement May 28 at the 46th Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament. Although she did not compete in this year's event, Overton Johnson has dominated professional skiing since going pro in 1983, when she competed in her first Masters Water Ski Tournament at Callaway Gardens.
Prior to her Master's debut, Kristi dominated the junior scene both in the United States and on International waters, setting records which are still in existence two decades later. She won her first Master's trick title in 1985 and climbed her way to the No. 1 ranking in the world in the trick event before becoming a slalom specialist in 1989.
This decision paid heavy dividends as Kristi won every professional slalom title including six Master's slalom titles, a World Slalom Title, 4 U.S. Open Slalom Titles as well as multiple World Cup titles. Kristi maintained the No. 1 ranking for women's slalom for a decade, and became the women's world slalom record holder in 1992, a record which she improved upon and continues to hold today. Kristi is the only woman to run 39 off in competition with her world record run of 1 buoy at 41 off.
Throughout her career, Overton Johnson has battled physical limitations from a congenital hip disorder, an ailment which required multiple surgeries in 2004. Due to these limitations and a desire to devote her time to her family and to the ministry known as In His Wakes, Kristi will shift her focus from accumulating professional titles to touching the lives of others.
Overton Johnson is married to husband, Tim, and has three children, Ty, Dalton and Ivy. She is author of “Running the Course” and a speaker, as well as founder and president of In His Wakes Ministries, a non-profit Christian water sports organization.