Rhyan Montovino rowing on his boat.

Rhyan Montovino knows how fortunate he is to be on the water today after surviving a serious car accident in May 2016. Photo credit: Rene Ferran

Posted: September 2, 2017

It’s the day that changed Rhyan Montovino’s life forever, and he can hardly remember the details at all.

The 17-year-old Camas High School senior recalls flashes of that Saturday in May 2016—dropping off a friend at his home, thinking about the route he’d take home.

The moment his car went off the road, hit a tree, then a wall? Any details he knows, they came from reports he’s read or from what people have told him.

“We still don’t really know what happened,” said Montovino, who spent a week in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

What is known are two things. First, Montovino may not have been alive to enjoy a recent beautiful August afternoon on Vancouver Lake if not for the efforts of three Mountain View High School students who came across him after the accident—one of whom, Grant Moog, had trained as a fire cadet with Clark County Fire District 6 and had a first-aid kit inside his truck.

“I have thanked them a couple different times,” Montovino said. “Sometimes, we keep in touch, although not as often as I’d like to.”

Second, Montovino knows he’d still be a linebacker for the state champion Camas football team but for the accident. Instead, his doctors advised that because of the head injuries he suffered, he had to give up contact sports for at least two years, sending him on a search for a sport that could quench his competitive fire.

Enter the Vancouver Lake Rowing Club into Montovino’s story.

Montovino’s parents, Chris and Karen, started researching different sports their son could play after he was cleared by doctors following two months of physical therapy. They contacted the rowing club looking for information.

At the same time, Rhyan had begun reading The Boys in the Boat, a book detailing the U.S. Men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team’s quest for a gold medal. He was drawn to how physically challenging the sport is, so when a friend who was in the rowing club invited him to tag along to a practice last summer, Rhyan agreed.

It didn’t take long for Rhyan to decide this was a sport he wanted to try.


Read the full story at ClarkCountyTalk.com.