Rusty Malinoski, on his way to the gold medal in the Pan Am Games finals

Canada’s Rusty Malinoski delivered a signature finals run of big stomped tricks in challenging conditions to win the Pan Am Games Wakeboarding gold medal in front of the home country crowd which included his parents who flew in from Saskatchewan and his wife and kids who travelled from Florida. American Daniel Powers finished second followed by of Juan Mendez of Venezuela.

“To come back to Canada and represent our country and pull it off and get the gold is definitely a good feeling”, said Malinoski following the medal ceremony. “It’s just a great honour to get to represent my country at the Pan Am Games here in Toronto.”

Rusty starts off his finals run on the rail towed behind the Nautique G23 official Pan Am Games wakeboard towboat

The Pan Am wakeboarding event took place on the Toronto waterfront at the Ontario Place “West Channel” where new sloping shorelines had been installed to upgrade it as a legacy watersports course. The Toronto water course also featured a wakeboard rail which was a first for Pan Am Games wakeboarding events.

Despite the new water course designed to dissipate the wave rebound of the boat’s wake, strong winds during the finals made for choppy water conditions. “It was tough conditions but I have been in the game for quite a while so I know how to adapt to those conditions so I did just that and came out with the gold,” explained Malinoski, a two time world champion.

“I set up with a really strong first pass and I knew if I was to land that I’d be in a really good spot. After a pretty much flawless first pass I knew it was almost in the bag. It feels so good now to have the pressure off.”

Rusty Malinoski finishes his finals run with a boardslide over the Pan Am Games rail

It was nice to have my parents fly in to watch and of course my wife and two kids there, as well as my Canadian coach Mike Leiffers. To have these people who have been with me from the beginning there to see me win gold at the Pan Ams is awesome, it’s a great feeling.”

Daniel Powers took the Pan Am Games silver for USA

Juan Mendez of Venezuela took the Pan Am bronze medal.