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Wawota's Blake Lamontagne has qualified for a world water-skiing championship

Blake Lamontagne has enjoyed tremendous success on the water despite facing adversity.
Blake Lamontagne received an Adaptive Athlete of the Year Award in 2021.

WAWOTA - Blake Lamontagne was a regular teenager from Wawota, but his life would change on July 8, 2007, when he was in a car crash.

He was 16 years old that fateful night when he was rushed to the hospital with a grocery list of injuries. He had a broken back and neck, along with a broken shoulder and wrist, to name a few.

Lamontagne would travel down a road of uncertainties beginning with traction, therapy and physio. He had to learn about the life of a paraplegic. He said it was a gift and a curse at the same time.

For seven years, the young man felt bitter, angry and alone. He felt sorry for himself, but in 2014 that would all change.

Lamontagne met Chris Pearson and Nick Doulias, two people who would change his life. They gave him the inspiration to try something new and taught him how to remain positive through it all.

He shut down the partying and picked up the weights, but he also began to water ski. This gave him purpose in his life.

As he began to get in shape, he also started enjoying waterskiing and it seemed to come naturally to him. His number one supporter, his mom Melanie Brimner, was always rooting for him, as were his younger siblings Blaine and Brayanne.

Lamontagne’s first year in training in Charlotte, N.C., had him meeting people who had the same issues as himself, and he said it felt good to talk to people that understood.

When Lamontagne straps on the water skis, it gives him freedom and it makes him feel alive, and the feeling he can do something that most normal people cannot.

He does a vigorous workout six days a week to prepare for these competitions, and he is a natural when it comes to tricks on the water and holds a Canadian record for tricks and jumps.

Although he has already gained enough points to go to the world championships, he will attend westerns in Abbotsford, B.C., from July 21-22, nationals in Edmonton from Aug. 7-11, and provincials in Saskatoon on Aug. 19. This is the tentative date.

In September he will travel to Shortline Lake in Elk Grove, Calif., to participates in the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation World Disabled Waterski Championship.

His mom, Brimner will accompany him, as she has for many of his trips around the world to go to competitions.

Lamontagne will be in three events, tricks, jumps and slalom, and he feels there is a good chance for him to hold a world record there.

In 2017 he went to Australia and two years later, he travelled to Norway. Lamontagne received the Adaptive Athlete of the Year Award in 2021.

He always enjoyed sports and will attend the annual sledge hockey tournament in Wawota on March 24-26. This is an event that Brimner began around seven years ago.

People from all over come to play in this tournament for people with disabilities. It is a great weekend, according to Lamontagne.

The sledge hockey tournament will have raffle prizes and these funds are to help send Lamontagne to the world championship.

He remembers very vividly what he has gone through, and what he had to do to get to where he is today. He often hears that he was lucky, and he agrees that he is lucky to be alive, but the rest of it was challenging work. Every step of the way took willpower and dedication.

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