Big White Ski Resort is throwing its support—both financial and moral—behind Ian Deans as the Lake Country athlete makes his push to compete in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Deans, a 26-year-old member of the national ski cross team who grew up skiing at the Kelowna area resort, joins two other Big-White sponsored athletes, ski cross racer Kelsey Serwa and snowboarder Tess Critchlow, in their bid for success in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“We’re very happy to be supporting another Big White athlete on their road to the podium,” said Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President at Big White Ski Resort. “I know the entire community of the central Okanagan joins us in supporting Ian, Kelsey and Tess.”
Deans originally started ski racing in Grade 5 while living at Big White and attending the Big White Community School. He raced with the Big White Ski Racers until he graduated high school.
“While in college, a friend suggested I try a ski cross race at Big White,” said Deans. “I’d retired from alpine racing, but thought I’d try out the race. I came in third, figured it was fun—then raced the Nor-Am circuit the following year and won the overall title for that.”
From there, Deans earned a spot in the World Cup and was chosen for the Canada Alpine ski team.
He’s earned multiple Nor-Am and Europe Cup podium results over the last two seasons and claimed eight top-30 World Cup finishes during the 2015-16 season. Deans’ next goal is, of course, to qualify for the Olympics.
“It’s really fun to be involved in the same sport as other local athletes such as Kelsey and Ned Ireland,” Ian added. “We all grew up here in such a tight community and loved it. I know Big White so well that I could ski it with my eyes closed. The terrain is fun, you can play on the entire mountain. It’s my favourite place to ski in the world and I’ve skied a lot of places.”
Deans, who has a degree in kinesiology and plans to pursue his professional career in Physical Therapy in the future, is excited to continue his journey towards competing in ski cross at next year’s Olympic Games.
“I love the adrenaline rush with ski cross. The fact that you put all this hard work into accomplishing on goal and when you execute it, it’s the best feeling in the world,” explained Ian. “The satisfaction is second to none.”