Water skier defies odds as he trains despite paralysis
REGINA -- Blake Lamontange has always been an athlete with a competitive nature, until a car accident changed the course of his life forever.
"I was pinned just below the knees; I crushed 3 vertebrae in my neck,” he said.
Lamontange is a T4 incomplete paraplegic, left with only some feeling in his legs. After only four months in hospital, he was able to go home to Wawota, while rehabbing in Regina.
"It was seven years after my injury that I had a friend tell me I was going to go water skiing. There was just something magical about it. Like it was the first time in those seven years that I didn't feel like I had any kind of disability," he said.
After his first time out on the water, he was invited to a training camp in Florida where he qualified for Team Canada in the World Disabled Water Ski Championship in Australia in 2017.
Wanting to compete again, Lamontange reached out to a personal trainer in Regina.
It's an absolute blessing to be working with Blake. He's consistent as all, he came day in day out. To see that it definitely makes you feel good as a trainer but it's also cool to see the joy in Blake,” trainer Adam Swanson said.
"I was a pretty lost individual before I found the water skiing, before I found the gym. I come in here, I’m a competitive guy, I get to compete against myself every day and I get to win every day,” Lamontange said.
Continuing their training, he has gone from not being able to lift his left arm over his head, to being able to do a full should press unassisted, and much more.