Goalball Athlete - Inducted 2013
Dean Kozak competed in the sport of Goalball from 1993 to 2009. He brought a training regimen that had not been seen in the sport at that time and was one of the first Goalball athletes to perfect a spin shot. Dean represented Canada at four Paralympic Games and won a silver medal in 1996. He competed at three World Championships and two IBSA Pan American Games. He medalled at every National Championships in which he competed from 1993 to 2009. He finished his career with Team Alberta at the 2009 National Championships where he won his eighth gold medal.
Dean’s pursuit of excellence in the sport was shown by his attention to both the offensive and defensive aspects of the game. In goalball, there are two different styles of defensive postures – standing, or on your knees. Most players learn one and stay with it. Dean learned how to play both styles, changing mid-way through his career. His perfection of the spin shot meant that he could release the ball, in a completely sightless condition, and accurately hit a half-meter target 15 metres away.
During his goalball career, Dean moved from Alberta to train in Ontario and Quebec, before coming back to Alberta. He helped bring success to each provincial team he played on. With Team Alberta he won four gold, three silver, and three bronze medals.
While living in Montreal, Dean attended one National Championships with Quebec, playing the starting center position for the first time ever, and managed to win a silver medal with Team Quebec. With Team Ontario, he won four gold medals and one bronze medal. In addition to winning the National Championship with Team Ontario in 2006, Dean was also awarded the Most Valuable Player award at the Championships in Halifax.
On the international stage, Dean competed at the Paralympic Games in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008, and the World Championships in 1998, 2002, and 2006. He was on the gold medal-winning teams at the IBSA Pan American Games in 2001 and 2005.
Director of Competitive Sport 2014-2015 for the Alberta Sport & Recreation Association for the Blind (ASRAB)
Dean is now the Senior Advisor, Physical Activity for the Tourism and Recreation Division in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Government of Alberta.