Hunter Smith on the Men’s Wakeboard Podium at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games
Photo by Express Media / Panam Sports
Canada’s own Hunter Smith shone brightly on the Pan Am stage, winning the silver medal in Men’s Wakeboard at the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games. Despite the high-pressure stakes, Smith, who was third to take to the water in the finals, delivered a stellar performance that left the audience and judges in awe.
With his run complete and four competitors yet to perform, the anticipation was palpable. Every trick from the remaining riders meant an agonizing wait for Smith. Ultimately, his top-tier performance secured him a spot on the podium, a testament to his relentless commitment to the sport.
Overwhelmed with emotion after the event, Smith reflected, “A lot of hard hours, a lot of work, a lot of dedication. I’ve been working really hard to get to the Games and to succeed in finals is just an unbelievable moment. I couldn’t be happier.”
Smith’s success doesn’t just belong to him; it’s a beacon of inspiration for the entire wakeboard community in Canada. To his fellow enthusiasts and future athletes, Smith shared a heartfelt message, “Let’s just keep our sport going and keep it strong. It may be cold for 8 months out of the year but we can still get on the lake in the summer and push ourselves to be better.”
Training in Canada, where the climate doesn’t always cooperate, has its challenges. Smith has had to travel extensively to find the right training partners and conditions. “It’s really hard to find people to wakeboard with. I’ve made a lot of great friends in Florida and California to go train with. They let me stay at their houses, they let me ride their boats, and they let me train as much as I can. To those people in the States, I really appreciate you guys.”
Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada is immensely proud of Smith’s achievements and celebrates the dedication and passion he represents. This silver medal is not just a win for Smith but a testament to the determination of athletes and the incredible potential of wakeboarding in Canada.
About Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada:
Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada (WSWC) is the national governing body for water skiing and wakeboarding in Canada. Dedicated to promoting these sports at every level, WSWC provides resources for athletes, coaches, and enthusiasts, fostering excellence and sportsmanship within a vibrant community passionate about the water.