NFL quarterback Russell Wilson isn’t the only ‘Russell’ crediting swimming with helping his primary career in the off-season. Catcher for the MLB team Blue Jays, Russell Martin, has also taking up aquatic sport to help supplement his year-round training regimen. In fact, Martin underwent arthroscopic surgery last November to remove torn knee cartilage and points to swimming as a key component of his rehab process.
Martin even has a special trainer in his corner, with Paralympic gold medalist Benoit Huot, giving the baseball athlete aquatic advice while training together at the Institut National du Sport du Quebec (INS). Huot, a Canadian Paralympian, most recently earned a bronze medal in Rio while having earned Olympic gold 3 times over at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. He met Martin through a mutual friend and the in-pool partnership took flight from there.
“I never really practiced swimming in my life, I was never really that interested in it, but as I got older my body was changing and I felt I needed to do some different things to stay in shape,” the 34-year-old Blue Jay said.
“I just wanted to find ways to balance out my body a little bit better and turns out Ben is a really good coach – in one session I got a lot better with just a couple techniques he showed me. And he’s a tremendous competitor.” (CP24)
Huot was named to the Order of Canada at the end of December to honor his work as both a parasport ambassador and Paralympic athlete. The Order of Canada is the second highest honor for merit in Canada, with appointees spanning across multiple different communities such as arts, sciences, sports, philanthropy, and business. Its purpose is to celebrate those who excelled in their field or demonstrate exceptional dedication or service to their country.