At 85, this Bristol water skier shows no signs of slowing down
But two to three times a week she does call upon them because somebody needs to drive the boat and spot for her as she water skis.
"It's the only thing I can do on the lake without any help," she said. "Most people don't like windsurfing on these choppy mountain lakes, but I love it. It beats sitting in a sailboat."
Since the birth of her daughter, Carol Benziger, she has been active in water and snow sports. She started water skiing about 50 years ago using wooden skis on Lake Erie. When she and her husband chose Newfound for their home, the lake became her playground.
She's a legend in snow, too. At Waterville Valley Resort, she's a member of a ski team, which needs her because she can still downhill ski — she is bored by cross-country skiing — at a competitive level.
Ziebarth said she doesn't often think about her age. She's too busy.
Has she lost a step? "I'm sure I'm slowing down, I must be," she said.
Her daughter disagrees. "I think she's water skiing better this year than I've ever seen her," Carol Benziger said.
"She and her friends are hiking mountains, and she's always walking or playing tennis or biking up a steep hill or doing something in the water," he said. "She knows the alternative (to being active) is not good, and she's staying ahead of the curve."
"Will I be water skiing when I'm 90? I don't know," Ziebarth said.
"Yep, she will be," Jerry Benzinger said. "She'll probably outlast all of us."
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