Taryn and Cole Grant’s time on the water has let them soar to new heights — literally and figuratively.
Taryn, 18, and her brother Cole, 20, are competitive water-skiers. They’ll be in Winter Garden, Fla. from Sept. 12 to 15 to compete as part of Team Canada for the Under 21 World Water Ski Championships. Young athletes from all over the globe will compete against each other in categories such as slalom, trick, and jump.
"It is a great honour to be part of Team Canada," said Cole. "Whenever you get the opportunity to represent your country it is very special. I have been fortunate enough to have done it before at the Pan Am Championships, but it is special every time. Hearing the national anthem play when you stand at the top is incredible."
Being part of the same team is especially meaningful for the two siblings, who are not only teammates, but also friends, coaches and training partners.
"It’s an honour to be part of Team Canada," said Taryn. "Being able to do it with my brother on the same team as me is even better."
"My sister is my training partner, travel buddy and is always there for me," added Cole.
The two siblings, originally from the St. Boniface and Southland Park area, just returned to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where they are part of the school’s water-ski team.
They grew up training in Manitoba, though, both at their family’s cottage and at the Lake Shirley training facility used by Water Ski-Wakeboard Manitoba (WSWM) in Transcona. The pair also works with WSWM as coaches.
Training in Manitoba has some distinct disadvantages — namely, that the siblings couldn’t train year-round, unlike many of their competitors.
But when spring rolls around, Taryn and Cole are always quick to make up for lost time. According to their mother, Michele Grant, summer days often mean being out on the water from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
"They’ll take turns driving the boat and coaching each other, then switch," she said, explaining they don’t even really stop for lunch.
"They’ll just be eating on the water as the day goes," said Michele. "As a parent, listening to them set goals, give back to their community and support each other is really gratifying."
It’s a lot of work, but neither sibling seems to mind.
"The feeling of being on the water is like no other," said Cole. "When I’m having a rough day, whenever I jump in and get ready to go, everything else melts away and I am in that moment."