Pat Messner

Pat Messner has the distinction of being Canada’s only Olympic medallist in water skiing. That happened at the 1972 Games where water skiing was on the program as a demonstration sport. She won the bronze in women’s slalom, an achievement that launched a successful international career.

”Being at the Olympics was an amazing experience,” said Messner, who was coached by her father Joe Messner, a 15-time national champion. They currently run Mesle Canada Water Ski School in Ottawa. ”I wish it could have been granted official status but unfortunately it didn’t work out. Still, water skiing remains extremely popular at the participation and that in large parts explains Canada’s continued success.”

After the Olympics, Messner ran off a string of firsts for a Canadian woman. She won four world championship medals including the gold in women’s slalom in 1979. She was the first Canadian woman to win gold at the Masters Tournament finishing first in slalom in 1978. Messner collected 18 national titles- the first in 1964- and broke Canadian records 19 times. She was on the national team in 1972 and from 1975-80.

Career Highlights

  • The only Canadian water skier to have won an Olympic medal – she won bronze in the women’s s slalom event at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, when water skiing debuted as a demonstration sport.
  • Following the Olympic medal, she won 4 subsequent world championship medals, including the gold medal in women’s slalom in 1979.
  • Captured 18 Canadian champion titles from 1965 to 1979.
  • Held 19 different Canadian records in her career.

Awards and Achievements

  • 1967 – Centennial Sports Achievement Award (Ontario)
  • 1972 – Ontario Sports Achievement Award
  • 1979 – Athlete of the Year (Water Ski & Wakeboard Canada)
  • 1981 – Member of the Order of Canada
  • 1984 – Induction into the Greater Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame
  • 1987-91 — Served on the national coaching committee of Water Ski & Wakeboard Canada
  • Served on the Water Ski & Wakeboard Canada Adapted Towed Water Sports Committee

Olympic Results 
Olympic Games 1972 Women’s Slalom (Demonstration Sport) Bronze

National/International Results

    Competition Year Event Placing/Record
  • Canada Summer Games 1968 Slalom Bronze
  • Canadian Championships 1968 Slalom Gold
  • Pan American Championships 1972 Slalom Silver
  • Carl Fischer Cup (Austria) 1972 Slalom Gold
  • Carl Fischer Cup (Austria) 1972 Tricks Gold
  • Carl Fischer Cup (Austria) 1972 Overall Gold
  • World Championships 1975 Slalom Bronze
  • Pan American Championships 1976 Slalom Gold
  • World Championships 1977 Team Bronze
  • World Championships 1977 Slalom Silver
  • The Masters Water Ski Tournament 1978 Slalom Gold(first for a Canadian woman)
  • The Masters Water Ski Tournament 1978 Trick Silver
  • World Championships 1979 Slalom Gold(first for a Canadian woman)
  • World Championships 1979 Team Bronze
  • Aqaba Interntaional (Jordan) 1979 Slalom Gold
  • Aqaba Interntaional (Jordan) 1979 Tricks Gold
  • Aqaba Interntaional (Jordan) 1979 Overall Gold

Member of the National Water Ski Team in 1972 and from 1975 to 1980. 18-time Canadian national champion from 1964 to 1979

Canadian Records

Open Women 

SLALOM 
1972 National Championship 2 @ 13.0 m (38 buoys)* 
1974 National Championship 2 1/2 @ 13.0 m (38.5 buoys) 
1975 World Championship 3 1/2 @ 13.0 m (39.5 buoys) 
1976 Group I Championship 5 @ 13.0 m (41 buoys)

TRICKS 
1974 National Championship 3290 points 
1976 National Championship 3750 points 
1977 Eastern Championship Rd.1 4070 points 
1977 Eastern Championship Rd.2 4250 points

Juvenile Girls 

TRICKS 
1968 National Championship 1200 points

Girls III 

SLALOM 
1 @ 18.25 m (19 buoys)* 
1971 National Capital Open 5 @ 14.25 m (35 buoys)*

Women I 

SLALOM 
1972 National Championship 2 @ 13.0 m (38 buoys)* 
1974 National Championship 2 1/2 @ 13.0 m (38.5 buoys) 
1975 World Championship 3 1/2 @ 13.0 m (39.5 buoys) 
1976 Group I Championship 5 @ 13.0 m (41 buoys) 
TRICKS 
1974 National Championship 3290 points 
1976 National Championship 3750 points 
1977 Eastern Championship Rd.1 4070 points 
1977 Eastern Championship Rd.2 4250 points

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