Cambridge native Whitney McClintock Rini was raised in a family full of water skiers.
Whitney’s aunt, Jody McClintock-Messer, was a waterski world champion in 1985 and 1995, and her uncle Joel was a world champion in 1979.
Her brother Jason also won three medals at the Pan-Am Games and her father donned the red and white of the national team.
All this to say, it should come as no surprise that Whitney fell in love with the sport while being pulled around Puslinch Lake as a youngster.
“I was born and raised in the McClintock family of water skiing,” she said.
“I often feel I was destined to be a skier.”
McClintock made her first appearance with the Canadian national water skiing team in 2003 in her early teenage years.
Six years later, she experienced what she calls the highlight of her career. During the World Championships held in Calgary, Alta., McClintock took over the podium. Being able to do it on home soil made it all the more memorable.
“I won 4 of the possible 5 gold medals in slalom, trick, overall and team,” she recalls.
“There will never be a moment that outshines what I was able to experience as a young athlete in Canada.”
Later that year, still just 19 years old, she was named the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation Female Athlete of the Year.
Skiing her way to the podium is nothing new for McClintock Rini. She’s an 11-time Pan Am Games medallist, five times winning gold, and a six-time world champion.
She made yet another appearance on the podium earlier this month.
From Sept. 23-24 she took part in the Mastercraft Pro Water Ski Tournament, placing second in women's slalom after a tie-breaking run off against fellow Canadian Jaimee Bull.
“There were moments I felt good about my performance and there were moments I felt I could've certainly done better,” McClintock Rini said.
“The highlight for me was tying with a fellow Canadian, Jaimee Bull, who has really broken out as one of the top athletes in our sport in the last year and a half. It was fun to tie and have a runoff with her.”
McClintock Rini points to husband, Matt Rini, and national teams coach/manager Steve Bush as playing a pivotal role in her ability to perform among the world’s elite.
For someone that’s globe trotted near and far, performing in a sport at the highest level, McClintock Rini will always be thankful to call Cambridge home.
“Cambridge and Puslinch Lake will always be my home,” she said.
“I grew up in a place that facilitated and supported my growth in my sport. I will always call Cambridge home and will always be grateful that my family decided to take up roots on Puslinch Lake.”