The road of life is ever changing

Blake Lamontagne grew up and attended high school in Wawota, Saskatchewan.

Lamontagne’s life was changed forever when the vehicle he was driving left the road and he was in an accident that resulted in his paralysis. The accident occurred in the summer of 2007, prior to his senior year in high school. His focus in life, changed dramatically, from academics to rebuilding his life’s plan.

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As difficult as he found his situation, Lamontagne’s interest became athletics. He participated in a variety of sports including adaptive rugby, wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey, tennis, curling and golf.

Growing up as an abled bodied kid it was very challenging, as he had to train a new body and learn a new way to play.

A number of years later Lamontagne was introduced to the water by his friend, Chris Pearson, who told him they were going to hit the waves and he would either “sink or swim”.

Pearson continually made every attempt to see that Blake was included in regular outings with friends.

On this occasion Pearson took Lamontagne to Wascana Lake in Regina, introducing him to a starter ski for water. To begin with, he would suit up with a side skier to instruct and manage his attempt at this new sport.  He was very determined and made everyone aware he could go it alone on the ski.

Unknown to Lamontagne at the time, the instructor was Dave Wassill, the Canadian National Team coach. The coach was very taken by Lamontagne’s determination to go it alone and penchant to polish his skill at this new activity.

The coach, having recognized Lamontagne’s enthusiasm, invited him to the Canadian Disabled Water Ski Team camp in Florida.

At the camp, Lamontagne’s skill came naturally and he qualified to be a member of the Canadian team.

Lamontagne now trains in Saskatoon and Regina, where he currently lives and competes on a national level in events across Canada.

He will also be competing also in the US Nationals this fall in Paducah, Kentucky. He will then travel to Australia in 2021, where he will compete in the World Trick Ski competition.

Lamontagne is also an ambassador of the Rick Hansen Foundation.

He attended the 25th anniversary night at the University of Regina, of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion Reunion Tour, where by chance, he was able to engage in conversation with the Canadian icon.

Lamontagne again attended an event where Rick Hansen was guest speaker for a promotion in Regina. Hansen remembered Blake from their meeting years before.

Hansen reached out to Blake and invited him to join the Rick Hansen Foundation as an ambassador, which he accepted. Lamontagne visits schools and universities, encouraging others by telling his story of his road of life. He continually tries to see the positive and is always quick to remind himself when the road seems rough “things are never so bad that they couldn’t be worse”.

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