Nickname: Tristan Tafel calls me T-Rex. Everyone else calls me Deaner.
What is your first memory of skiing? My first memory of skiing is going between two trees right before the tunnel in the Village at Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, B.C., with my little (30cm) white skis that were connected by an Edgie Wedgie. I felt like a superstar because there was a small dip/jump in the middle.
What has been your best moment in ski racing? My best moment is ironically my worst moment as well. During the second stop on the World Cup tour of 2012/2013 in Telluride, Colorado, I qualified 14th. In the heats the next day I got the hole-shot in the first round, made a mistake and was passed by two Swiss skiers. I made a pass over the final jump to make it to the second round (for my first time). In the next heat, I got the hole-shot again but ended up getting tangled with other racers halfway down. I crashed and suffered a season ending knee injury. Even though I blew my knee I felt such a rush competing, pushing the limits and performing at my best.
What is your Olympic dream? My Olympic dream is to cross the finish line first and raise the Canada flag as high as possible with all of my family and friends. A gold medal would mean all my hard work and dedication had paid off. It would be an awesome feeling of accomplishment.
What is the best thing about having the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia? I love travelling and seeing new places. I have never been to Russia, so getting to compete in a new place would be really fun.
If you could listen to one song before leaving the start gate, what would it be? “Big Spender” by Theophilus London ft. ASAP Rocky.
If you could bring any three people in the world - living or from the past - to one of your races, who would they be and why? I would bring my grandparents because they gave up skiing a while ago and because their support means everything to me. I would also bring Jay and Dan, formerly from TSN’s SportsCentre, because they are hilarious.
What’s a talent or skill you have that fans might be surprised to learn about? I rip up the ping pong table pretty well.
If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it? Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying” pretty much sums up the day: skydiving, climbing, fast cars and my girl.
If you could own a business or be trained in any career other than ski racing, what would you choose? I would continue along my education path and complete my degree in human kinetics. I am fascinated by the human body and how it performs. Eventually, I would love to go into cardiac work or physiotherapy. If I were not skiing at the moment I would be working towards this goal.
When I’m not skiing, you can probably find me: golfing, boating or working out.
What’s the best thing about your hometown? The weather is second to none and the seasons allow you to do every sport or activity. I don’t like being inside very much, so the weather allows me to spend most of my time outside. If I spend my day inside it feels like a complete waste.
Name the most surprising thing in your suitcase when you’re on the road: Well, when I’m on the road I have with me everything except the kitchen sink. I literally empty my room into my bag. I find lots of goodies when unpacking, like exploded cans of shaving cream or sunscreen bottles.
Describe your favorite thing to eat or drink during race season: I know this is cliché but I love my grandma’s pies. Apple is my absolute favorite but I also settle for the peach, pear, or grape. They are just soooooo delicious.
If you could design your own World Cup spot anywhere in the world, where would it be? A downtown city race. It doesn’t matter where it is, but it would need to have a decent population size.
Where is your favourite place to race or train? I love training in Mt. Hood, Oregon, because it’s always sunny and hot when I’ve trained there, and there is no tax!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? To fly, because you could go anywhere and do anything whenever you wanted. No ski lifts needed!
If you could build your dream home anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I really enjoy hot weather in the summer and snowy winters, so B.C., Utah, Washington, or Oregon. I need a mountain, a lake/ocean/river, and a golf course.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen a teammate do while on the road? Brady Leman shanking his wedges last summer on the golf course.
Who is someone you admire in sport, and why? Professional golfer Seve Ballesteros always had a swagger that I really enjoyed. I live by one of his quotes when it comes to gamesmanship. He said, "I look into their eyes, shake their hand, pat their back, and wish them luck, but I am thinking, 'I am going to bury you.’"