THE WSWS LEGACY
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Clint Ward: courtesy the Clint Ward nocollection.
From 1962 to 1974, Clint Ward held a combined eight Canadian titles in Men’s Slalom, Senior Men’s Slalom, Senior Men’s Tricks, and Senior Men’s Overall.
In 1968, he was the Canadian record holder for slalom. Mr. Ward was also a co-holder of the Canadian slalom record in the Veteran Men’s Division in 1974. Also that year, Clinton represented Canada at the Can-Am Championships and won both the Veterans Slalom and Veterans Tricks events.
In addition to this strong competition, he has also held executive positions at various local clubs, and in provincial, national, and international levels in the water ski associations.
Sport: Water Skiing
Year Inducted: 1979
Elmer Hazzard began water skiing in 1960. By 1970, he won the Regina Beach Open Trick Skiing event and the Stoney Lake Senior Men’s overall title. The following year he won three trick events, the Saskatchewan Open, the Stoney Lake tournament and the Crooked Lake tournament. He was the Saskatchewan Senior Men’s Overall Champion in both 1972 and 1973.
It was in 1973, at Chrysler Lagoon near Upper Canada Village in Ontario that Elmer won the Canadian Senior Men’s Tricks Championship. He retained the championship in 1974 at Hull, Quebec.
Hazzard also served the sport by judging, coaching, running clinics, and he was vice president of the Saskatchewan Water Ski Association and the Regina Water Ski Club.
Sport: Water Skiing
Year Inducted: 1980
Birthplace: North Battleford
JAMES "JIM" CLUNIE
Jim Clunie grew up on the Prairies, but he soared to new heights on the water. From Saskatchewan to sites around the world, he leaped to international acclaim in the sport of water skiing.
Clunie was first introduced to the sport at Kipabiskau Lake, near his hometown of Tisdale, when he was 10 years old. He soon became become one of the most accomplished water skiers in the province. Beginning in the early 1980s, Clunie was the highest-rated water ski jumper in the province until his retirement in 1999. During that period he received numerous awards, held many records and was named to several provincial teams.
Outside the province Clunie also enjoyed success. He won seven gold medals, six silver medals and five bronze medals at 12 western Canadian championships, as well as eight gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals while competing in 15 national championships. He moved to Florida in Grade 10 to further his water skiing career, which led to success on the international scene. He was a member of the gold-medal winning Canadian teams at the world championships in 1991 and 1993, as well as bronze-medal teams in 1995 and 1997. Individually, he won bronze medals in the water ski jump at the 1993 and 1997 world championships.
Despite his accomplishments, Clunie’s contributions extended far beyond the water. During his career he was named an athlete representative on the Canadian Olympic Association for Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada, served as an athlete liaison on Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada’s Board of Directors and was a founding member of the Professional Jumpers International Association. During the winters he coached Saskatchewan water skiers at a training academy he operated in Florida, and returned home every year to coach young skiers and promote the sport at an annual water skiing clinic.
Upon retiring as a competitor, Clunie continued to stay involved in the sport. Besides serving on the executive of the Saskatchewan Water Ski Association, he also played a key role in organizing water skiing championships and coaching programs in the province. Remaining active with his home club at Kipabiskau Lake, Clunie was also a top tournament judge and boat driver.
The Town of Tisdale recognized Clunie for his accomplishments in 1986, while the Kipabiskau Watersports Club held a Jim Clunie
Appreciation Day in 1995.
Sport: Water Skiing
Year Inducted: 2008
Rusty Malinoski was born and raised in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. As a young child, he had a lot of energy that he channeled through sports, such as hockey and motocross. By his teen years, he was over the competitive hockey scene and getting tired of being on the road for motocross races. One summer day, he tried wakeboarding with his brother and some buddies, and instantly got hooked. He knew the very first time he tried it, that it was something he wanted to do at a very high level.
Rusty worked hard every chance he got on the water. He utilized resources to increase the size of the wake on an old fishing boat and eventually got an old ski boat that he transformed himself into a wakeboarding boat. He built the tower and used this vessel to take his skill to the next level. He was on the water every chance he could get, and eventually moved to the U.S. to pursue wakeboarding as a career.
Once in the United States, Rusty worked odd jobs to pay bills and support his training on and off the water. With the support of Backside Board Shop located in Saskatoon, Rusty's first sponsor, he was able to work his way up to earning industry sponsorships.
Rusty's breakthrough year was in 2005, where he won his first Pro Tour stop in Reno, NV. From there, Rusty's confidence and ability grew and throughout the next decade, he captured every title there was to win, including multiple World Championships, US and Canadian National Championships, Master Championships, and even securing the gold for his home country of Canada at the 2015 Pan-Am games on Canadian soil.
Rusty credits his hard work and determination for getting him to the top. He truly changed the sport of wakeboarding and made it a more physical sport in the sense that training off the water was just as important as on the water.
Rusty is most proud of his back-to-back Wakeboarder of the Year titles, that were voted on by industry insiders. He also was the first to land a 1080 in competition. Rusty is grateful for his upbringing in the small town of Humboldt, and the hard work ethic instilled in him by his parents, Gloria and Bernie, and is appreciative of the support he received as part of the WSWS High Performance Program which helped him achieve his goal of becoming a world class athlete.
Robin & Trent Finlayson
Robin and Trent Finlayson are both products of the Saskatchewan Waterski Association’s previous athlete funding program. Both Robin and Trent began the respective water ski careers within the province before branching out to the National and international level. Rob, a member of the Junior National team in the late 80’s went on to ski under an athletic scholarship at the University of Central Florida before competing on the Bud Pro Water Ski Tour of the 1990’s. Trent would follow a similar path, earning an athletic scholarship to compete for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Trent, a National Team Member since 2005, has earned multiple Pan American titles, a World Championship title, and numerous National records. Both Robin and Trent attribute their successes to their earnest water ski roots within the province and the assistance they received from the Saskatchewan water ski Association.
Brett Walker has been a member of Waterski Wakeboard Saskatchewan since 2007. With guidance & coaching from his mentors at the Saskatoon Waterski Club and the support of the WSWS high performance program, he progressed to ski on the national and international stage. He had the privilege of competing for the Florida Southern College waterski team, and to represent Canada at the 2016 Collegiate Waterski World Championship in Akita, Japan.
Brett remains involved in the high performance program, now working from the other end of the rope. At his home site he coaches athletes of all levels - from those new to the sport, to skiers that have competed for many years and have their own long lists of achievements. He is excited to see the Saskatchewan high performance team grow, as its athletes push each other to progress along the path he took and beyond! He hopes to be a positive mentor to these athletes on their waterski journey, as he recognizes how important his own role models were to his progression.