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Calympians In London 2012: Will Dean, Canada Crew

Will Dean will be representing not only maple syrup in London, but also the blue and gold. He helped Cal win a Crew NatChamp in 2010:

"It's going to be up to the coaches," said the 24-year-old. "It's their responsibility to make the fastest boat possible and it's my job to make myself as fast as I can be."

And that's a job that Dean has been doing pretty well since turning his attention full time to rowing for Team Canada.

After closing out his university rowing career at the University of California in 2010 by winning the Intercollegiate Rowing Championships, Dean moved to Victoria to begin rowing full-time at the Victoria Rowing Centre.

He was plagued by minor injuries his first year there but this season the 6-foot-5 215 pound Kelowna native came into his own, powering his way into the men's four for this year's World Championships in Slovenia.

"I was really honoured to be able to represent my country," said Dean. "We were happy but not satisfied. We did well but we can do better. We want to come back and train harder so we can do better next year."

You can tell by the way he spelled "honored" that he is really Canadian. Join me after the jump to learn more! GO BEARS!

Dean was excited to fulfill a childhood dream of making it to the Olympics:

Kelowna's Will Dean will realize a childhood dream when he competes in his first Olympic Games later this month in London.

The 25-year-old KSS grad and son of former world class triathlete, Jo-Anne Ritchie, will compete as a member of the Canadian men's four rowing crew.

Dean is currently in Italy training with the national rowing squad.

Capital News reporter Warren Henderson connected with Dean via email this week to get his thoughts leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Q: What was your reaction to recently being named to the Olympic team ?

A: I was honoured and humbled. I train with an amazing group of guys, and it's unfortunate that there aren't more seats in the boat because every one of them is a great athlete with huge potential.

Click the link to read the rest of the interview there. Dean has had international success before:

In previous national team competition, Dean won the 2008 Henley Grand Challenge Cup with the Canada under-23 eight at the Henley Royal Regatta. While rowing with the Golden Bears, Dean was part of Cal's 2010 IRA National Champion men's eight.

Cal has a fuller glimpse into his entire collegiate career:

California: 2010 (Senior): Rowed on Cal's national-champion varsity 8+ at the IRA Regatta... competed on the junior varsity 8+ at the Pac-10 Championships that came in second... beat Stanford on the junior varsity 8+ at the Big Row...first-team Pac-10 all-academic...first-team Pac-10 all-academic. 2009 (Junior) Rowed on Cal's second varsity 8+ that placed third in the IRA Regatta and second at the Pac-10 Championships. 2008 (Sophomore) Rowed on Cal's varsity 8+ that placed third in the IRA Regatta and second in the Pac-10 Championships. 2007 (Freshman) Rowed on the freshman 8 that won titles at the IRA Regatta and Pac-10 championships. 2006 Redshirted.

Good luck to Dean and all the other California Golden Bears at the London Olympics. GO BEARS!