Deidra Dionne was a trailblazer for Canadian athletes competing in the sport of freestyle skiing today. Born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Deidra’s skiing career took off – literally – years after she moved to Red Deer, Alberta with her family in 1982. She started skiing at the age of three but did not join the Red Deer Freestyle Club, located at Canyon Ski Resort, until almost a decade later. Under the mentorship of Murray Cluff, it wasn’t long before Deidra began excelling on a provincial, national, and eventually, international stage. Her accomplishments are exceptional: silver at the 2008 Canadian Freestyle Championships, 2000 World Cup Freestyle Rookie of the Year, bronze medals at both the 2001 and 2003 World Championships, and a bronze medal in women’s aerials at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. Despite breaking her neck in a training accident in September 2005, Deidra battled back to compete at one last Olympic game in 2006.
At the 1999 Canada Winter Games in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland & Labrador, 17-year-old Deidra won a silver medal before moving on to the world stage. Over the course of her career, she competed in six Canadian Freestyle Championships – winning silver in 2008, an incredible 27 World Cup competitions - winning Rookie of the Year in 2000, and five World Freestyle Championships – winning bronze in both 2001 and 2003.
A two-time Olympian, Deidra represented Canada in both 2002 and 2006. At the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, she won the bronze medal in women’s aerials, falling 4.21 points short of the gold. Deidra’s dogged determination would be tested again three years later when she suffered a broken neck during a training accident. She battled back and competed in women’s aerials at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, completing the same trick that had broken her neck a year earlier.
Since retiring, Deidra has achieved her law degree, served as director of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, served on the Canadian Olympic Committee Athlete Commission, served at the COC representative at the 2012 Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, mentored 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Erica Wiebe through the COC’s Mentorship Program, and served as a governor on the host society for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, which were held in her hometown.