Blake Lamontagne is a 27-year-old adaptive water skier. Ten years ago, he was involved in a motor vehicle accident, leaving him in a wheelchair. But a few years back, he was looking to be more active, and a friend suggested water-skiing. He gave it a shot and has been hooked ever since.
“There is not many things that get me going more than flying behind the boat, whether it be on trick ski or slalom”, Lamontagne said.
“You are not going to find (your passion) at home on the couch. You need to stick your neck out there a little bit and see what there is.”
Lamontagne and his coach, Lisa Williams, got started in adaptive water skiing at the same time. Williams says Lamontagne not only has the drive to compete, but he has it to win.
“He’s been out there in white cap days, and freezing cold days”, Williams said.
“I know there were times that we were saying ‘you really don’t have to go out today, Blake, if you don’t want to. And he said ‘no I have to practice’.”
Blake is a member of the National Adaptive Water Ski Team. He is working towards the World Championships in the spring of 2019. He says as long as he can, he’ll be water-skiing.
“It allows me to be myself out there. I’m no longer disabled when I’m out on the water. I can do more tricks than most of my friends can that are able-bodied,” Lamontagne said.
“It gives me a sense of purpose again. Something to wake up, and look forward to everyday.”
In the winter, Blake plans to head to California to train. Until then, he will continue his work with Spinal Cord Injury Saskatchewan, which includes speaking to those who have suffered spinal-cord injuries.
“I can give a little insight into what somebody might be going through. Being able to be that difference maker in someone else’s life is probably the most rewarding feeling I think I felt.”
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