More than 200 wakeboarding pros from around the country will compete on the Oklahoma River this week in the WWA Wakeboard National Championships. Safety and health for athletes is always a priority, but after some triathlon competitors got sick after swimming in the river in May, coordinators are taking extra precautions this year.
Event organizers said heavy rainfall shortly before the event raised the contaminant levels of the river above normal, including a high amount of E. coli bacteria. Despite all the rain central Oklahoma received over the holiday weekend, event competition director Chris Bischoff isn’t too worried. "We actually did some pretty big research checking out everything and talking with city officials just to make sure everything was clear,” Bischoff said. "They’ve reassured us that the levels are where they need to be and that everything’s good for us.” The problem-free Oklahoma River Wakeboarding Tournament two weeks ago also helped restore confidence in the river. "The concern from the triathlon was prolonged exposure down in the water, which the wakeboarders won’t have,” event coordinator Mike Weiss said.