Sport: Men's Rowing (quadruple sculls)
Birthday: June 10th, 1987 (age 29)
Hometown: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Cal affiliation: California Golden Bears alum (English '10)
Years at Cal: 2006 - 2010
Olympic appearances: 2012 London (9th in the coxless four), 2016 Rio
After finishing 3rd in 2008 and 2009, Will Dean closed his Cal career with the 2010 IRA National Championship, which was the last Cal Men's Crew national championships before earlier this year. The championship winning 2010 Varsity 8 boat also include Calympians Nareg Guregian of the United States, who is rowing in the pair, as well as Olivier Siegelaar of The Netherlands, who is rowing in the 8.
Will Dean will race in the men's quadruple sculls event at Rio. His boat includes Julien Bahain, Rob Gibson, and Pascal Lussier. The quartet clinched the Rio berth in the final Olympic qualifying regatta in May of this year from Lausanne, Switzerland (where The Olympic Museum is located, I didn't get the chance to visit that museum from my lone brief stop at Lausanne) with a 2nd place finish.
After competing as a junior in the 2008 World Rowing U, where he won a Silver, and then 2009 U23 World Rowing Championships, Dean moved up to the Canadian Senior team in 2011. In his first Olympic at 2012 London, Dean was a member of the coxless four boat for Team Canada that finished 9th. He switched to the quad sculls in 2014. His quad sculls crew won the Bronze at the 2014 World Cup (Aiguebelette, France) and then finished 7th at the World Championships. In 2015, his quad sculls crew won another Bronze at the World Cup (Varese, Italy). At the 2015 Pan Am games, Dean was a member of both the Gold winning quad sculls and eight boats. Just prior to qualifying for the Olympic, Dean and his crew won the Silver at the 2016 World Cup (Varese, Italy). There are typically multiple (2 to 3) World Cups in rowing each year.
Will Dean's World Rowing page has detailed results of his international career.
More on Will and his Rio outlook:
The craziest thing from Will Dean's biography from the Team Canada page is that he only started to row at age 18 as a student at Cal!! That's kind of late for an Olympian.
The Cal English major is an avid nutritious foodie. His Twitter feed is full of his home made healthy meals. Dean also practices yoga. His mother is a former triathlete who has won gold, silver, and bronze at the 1991, 1992, and 1993 World Championships respectively.
Will Dean is one of three Canadian Calympian going to Rio. Cal Women's Crew student-athlete Caileigh Filmer is another Canadian rower, and she will row with the Canadian Eights (note, her profile has been updated with a little bit more info). The 3rd Canadian Calympian of the 2016 Rio games is swimmer and also current Cal student-athlete Noemie Thomas.
From his three seat (counting from the direction where the boat is heading) of his Rio boat, Will Dean is rowing with an entirely different crew than in 2012 London (it is also a different four men race). The rest of his London crew has left the sport. His 2016 Rio crew is a lot more experienced, however, with two guys on their 3rd Olympic games. This added experience may help him improve on his 2012 finish.
Dean won the 2015 Pan Am Gold in the quad sculls with two other guys on his current boat - Bahain and Gibson. From the article linked in the Tweet below, Dean thinks the field is wide open.
"Anybody would be lying to you if they told you they weren't hoping to win," Dean conceded. "Our event is wide open and a unique situation in rowing in that there are so many boats that have been on the podium in the last four years. There hasn't been one really dominant boat that's just always winning and leaving everyone miles behind. It's been really close and tons of different boats have done really well over the last quadrennial. It wouldn't be crazy if we won.
"Whoever has the best race on the day is going to come away with the medal. If we don't have our absolute best race we could finish near the bottom. If we have a really good race, we could do really well."
The entire interview includes Will Dean's thoughtful and articulate thoughts from his competition mentality to the water and political issues surrounding the Rio games. It is very well worth the read.
Best of luck to Will in Rio and ROW ON YOU BEARS!