Canadian Olympic Team Will Miss Courage and Leadership of Retiring Skier Deidra Dionne

Freestyle skier Deidra Dionne, 2002 Olympic bronze medallist in aerials and two-time World Championship medallist, today announced her retirement from the national team. The Canadian Olympic Team congratulates her on a sports career distinctly marked by success, leadership and courage.

“Deidra is an exemplary Olympian and a true inspiration to her teammates not only in freestyle skiing but in other winter sports,” said Chris Rudge, CEO and Secretary General of the Canadian Olympic Committee. “I’d like to commend her on her outstanding work as part of our Athletes’ Council that she has helped guide. What won’t be forgotten is her courage and leadership shown in competing at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, persevering just six months after suffering a severe injury.”

Dionne is a nine-year veteran of the national team and executive member of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Council. In September 2005, she broke her neck in a training accident in Mount Buller, Australia. Showing amazing resilience and determination, Dionne worked hard to recover and make the 2006 Canadian Olympic Team, her second Olympic experience.

“Injuries are too often a part of the life of an athlete and it’s easy to understate what it takes to recover from them,” said Michael Chambers, COC President. “Deidra’s case is truly remarkable, with the courage it took for her to return to competition quickly enough to pursue her Olympic dreams. We wish her all the best in this new chapter in her life.”

Raised in Red Deer, Alta., Dionne, 27, has been a strong member of the freestyle aerials team since her initial season in 1999-2000, when she was named World Cup Rookie of the Year. She has collected eight World Cup medals, two bronze medals at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships, and of course an Olympic bronze medal.

She has been an inspirational leader for the other members of the team, who will be pursuing success next February at the Olympic Winter Games. Dionne will be greatly missed by the Canadian Olympic Team.