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NT_041218

The Northbrook Tower 041218

18 | April 12, 2018 |

18 | April 12, 2018 | The Northbrook tower news northbrooktower.com GBN grad making waves in water sports world Martin Carlino, Editor Even though Danny Amir grew up more than 1,000 miles away from the state of Florida, he always knew he would one day end up in Orlando. Amir, a graduate of Glenbrook North in 2000, spent his teenage years on the chase. But Amir’s chase was never one for money or affection, rather one for unfrozen water — a needed means for pursuing his near-lifelong love of water sports. And Orlando, often deemed the mecca of water sports, was always his end goal. “In my mind, I kind of always wanted to get down to Florida so that I could be on the water all the time,” Amir said. “When I was a teenager, all I wanted to do was be on the water all day.” While living in Northbrook, Amir spent his summers traveling to Twin Lakes, Wis., where he learned to water ski and developed a love for the sport through the Aquanuts water ski club. Following his time at GBN, Amir got a job at Munson Ski and Marine, where he worked with some of the best water-skiing equipment available. In his early 20s, after two years at Munson, Amir saved enough money and followed his best friend Erik Ruck south to Florida. Once there, Amir knew a professional career as a water skier may be nothing more than idealistic, but his passion for water sports never faded and his goal remained simple. “I always kind of knew that I wasn’t going to be a pro, but my goal was to always gain exposure for water sports,” Amir said. “I wanted to get photos and just show people that you don’t necessarily have to be a champion in the sport ... you can still be doing something for the sport. It was always about getting water sports seen.” Amir continued to travel between the Midwest and Florida for the next several years, with his water skiing as a Aquanut remaining constant. In 2005, while skiing with the club in Wisconsin, organizers of the Wakeboard National Championships asked Amir if he had any interest in announcing one of the sports biggest events, which was slated to be held in Kenosha, Wis. Amir turned down the initial opportunity, but just one year later the same opportunity presented itself, this time with an added incentive, a chance to announce the entire Wakeboard World Series — and Amir couldn’t refuse. The Northbrook native has since gone on to build the reputation as one of the most respected and recognized voices in the water sports community. And earlier this year, Amir received the Water Sports Industry Association’s 2018 Larry Meddock award, one of the highest honors in the water sports industry. The award recognizes a person or group who has gone above and beyond to promote or grow the water sports community by volunteering, helping underprivileged groups, or starting an organization that grows or promotes the sport. WSIA’s Executive Director Kevin Michael explained why Amir was a strong choice for the award. Glenbrook North graduate Danny Amir smiles after receiving the 2018 Larry Meddock award, one of the highest honors in the water sports industry. Photos Submitted “[He] is not in this for the money, and there’s no financial reward that he would do this for – he goes out of his way to promote the sport because he loves it,” Michael said. Now in his 14th year of announcing water sports, Amir, a self-described introvert, can’t believe where his life has taken him. “Announcing was never really something that was on my radar when I was in school,” Amir said. “I’m very proud of my accomplishments. ... I’ve been able to travel around the world multiple times. ... Some of my earliest memories are being out on the boat. My dad taught me how to water ski. Who would have thought that something we did to get away from the real world would actually turn into a career.” Although Amir has accomplished a lot over his career, his commitment to raising funds for various charity endeavors is one thing that has remained a constant. Amir has devoted several efforts to raising funds for a longtime friend of his who died from Leukemia more than 10 years ago. Amir has helped raised nearly $20,000 in her memory. The storied announcer, who is often referred to as “Dano the Mano” throughout the water sports community, doesn’t make it up to Northbrook as much as he once did. But, his time at GBN is one memory of Northbrook he’ll never forget. “One thing that I’ve realized about GBN was that those teachers worked so hard to leave no kid behind,” Amir said. “Even though I wasn’t in some of the highest classes, I feel like I got an insanely good education. ... It just seems like there was a lot of success and positivity that came out of GBN.” Amir interviews Austin Keen during his “Golden Mic” podcast. Amir has spent more than 14 years announcing water sports. Amir developed a love for water skiing at an early age. He skied with the Aquanuts water ski club for more than 10 years. Photo courtesy of Tiare Miranda

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