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Introducing Dean Oldershaw


Dean Oldershaw was born into a canoeing family, with his father Bert holding the distinction of being the only Canadian to have ever reached three successive finals in Olympic paddling competitions. At the age of seven, Dean was introduced to paddling by his father on Toronto Island. A year later, he won his first canoeing competition and officially began his journey towards making Canadian Olympic canoeing history.

Not long after Dean took up the sport, his father founded the Mississauga Canoe Club with an old shed serving as the first "clubhouse" at the mouth of the Credit River and Dean became the first competitive member. Dean started out primarily as a single blader, winning his first national title in juvenile men's C-2. He went on to help the club to 12 national championship burgees as both a paddler and coach.

Dean captured his first Canadian gold in 1962 and his 62nd and 29 years later in '91, an impressive record for any athlete in any sport. In 1966, he not only won gold, but set a Canadian record in the senior men's C-1 event.

Over his career, Dean would win an impressive 62 Canadian national championships and 18 North American medals in various single and double-blade categories, a feat that remains a Canadian record for the sport. In 1969 Dean won six Canadian championship titles - a record that still stands. He then went on to represent Canada at the world championships in singles kayaking, making finals in 1970 and finishing seventh in 1971. His best showing at the world level was in 1977 when he teamed with his youngest brother, Scott, to finish sixth in the K-2 world championships.

He represented Canada at the 1972 Munich Olympics, making it to the semi-finals in both the K-1 and K-4 1,000 metre events. He represented Canada again at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal making it to the semi-finals in the K-1 500 metre event. Dean, along with his brothers Reed and Scott, with fourth team member Alwyn Morris, had high hopes for the 1980 Moscow Olympics in the K-4 event, but Canada along with much of the western world boycotted the games.

Dean was elected to the Canadian paddling committee in 1987 and continued to serve in that capacity for many years.
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Dean Oldershaw
Canoe - Kayak

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