Kelowna's Will Dean (second from left) seen here with the Canadian men's quad crew

Double gold for Kelowna’s Dean

Will Dean helps Canadians to the win in men's eight Wednesday at the Pan American Games, adding to a gold medal in the quad event

What a week it’s been for Will Dean.

The 28-year-old from Kelowna posted the two biggest wins of his career, earning a pair of gold medals for Canada in men’s rowing at the Pan American Games in Toronto.

Dean and the Canadians showed the way Tuesday in the quad sculls, then followed up on Wednesday with another gold medal effort in the men’s eight.

Dean said the experience of racing in his home country in a major international event for the first time is the unquestionable highlight of his career to date.

“I had never had the opportunity to race in front of a Canadian crowd before and it was an unbelievable thrill,” said Dean. “Everybody talks about competing in your country and for the home crowd and I can’t overstate what that means to me.

“To win two gold medals…it was a pretty nice couple of days, beyond what I expected.

“Just the feeling of gratitude I had when crossing the finish line, I’m so thankful.”

The two most significant medals of his life come a decade after Dean began his rowing career at the University of California-Berkley.

Dean said it’s been a long and rewarding journey that he’s thrilled to be sharing with his hometown.

“I’m super thankful for the support of all the people back in Kelowna, I’ve had a ton of messages,” said Dean, a graduate of KSS. “I’m proud to be from there and represent such a great community. I’ve had huge support throughout my career from family and friends, all the people around me have contributed to this and I’m grateful for that.”

Dean and his men’s quad teammates will next focus on qualifying for a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

To do that, the Canadian crew will be aiming for a top-eight finish at the world championships this September in France.

“We have to qualify at worlds and we’ll be ready for the challenge,” Dean said. “We’re hoping to build on what we’ve done, dig in and focus on getting to the Olympics.”


Just Posted

Okanagan residents can win ride in army vehicle

A social media campaign offers the chance to win a ride in the Dragoons armoured vehicle

Reel Reviews: War from both sides of the desk

We say, “Forgive these films their faults and they will be entertaining enough.”

Residents should keep air intakes clear of snow

Silver Star Fire Department is encouraging residens to keep their air intakes clear after snowfall

Community Leader Awards: The Red Cross

The Kelowna Capital News honours volunteers in the community

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

PHOTOS: Icing the competition

Skate Canada 2018 Okanagan Regional Championships skated through Vernon this weekend

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Street Sounds: Rolling with the Stones

The Stones’ On Air is a blast from the past in every sense

Sledding revved for recovery centre

Adult and Teen Challenge BC’s Sled for Eternity returns to SilverStar Mountain Resort Feb. 24

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Owls soar to valley basketball title

KSS wins easily at Okanagan finals to represent valley next week at provincials in Langley

Brakemen pulling out all the stops for 2018

Kettle Valley Brakemen planning some surprises

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Most Read