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Gold Medalist Will Dean Makes Kimchi for Fun

Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a morning person. But today, I woke up at 9am to shoot Canadian Olympic rower, Will Dean. Yes, I’m quite impressed as well. The dude won two gold medals for Team Canada at the Pan American Games (Huzzah!), and he’s aiming for his first at the Olympic stage. That’s pretty sick.

On my way to meet Will, I came across a small nuisance when a fully capable looking young man in the subway gave me attitude for asking him to remove his backpack so I can sit down; in which he told me that I had ‘no common courtesy’. Not being a morning person (and coming straight outta Compton), I told him that he was a sensitive fellow and that he needed to man-up. Man-up, like my man, William Dean; who trains all year so his team can bring the god dang gold medal home. The young man in the subway clearly did not have the heart of a champion, and I hope that he reads this so he can change his non-champion ways.

It took me a while to find Will at Fairmont Royal York’s lobby because my phone was acting up, but eventually our texts went through. Will was a big dude, standing at 6 foot-something and looked like one of those swimmer dudes with triangle shaped bodies, except he was a professional rower. ‘Water-athletes’, I thought. We chatted while we walked over to the location, and found out that we were both BC boys, meaning that he was alright in my books.

As the shoot progressed, Will told me about his weird hobby that made me realize that he was in fact just like an old Korean ahjuma stuck inside a ripped white dude’s body. Will likes to ferment food for fun. He told me about the different types of kimchi that he makes, and how he makes them the traditional way using clay pots and storing them underground for long periods of time. What’s most impressive was that he even knew about fermenting the kimchi with prawns for dat sweet extra flavour. -You see, it’s common misconception that kimchi is vegetarian. In Korea, kimchi is fermented with seafood, such as shrimps, prawns, squids, clams, etc. Who would’ve thought a gold medal winning, rower from Kelowna, BC, had such an estranged hobby. What an age we live in.

On a final note, I’m expecting to see ‘Kimchi for Champions by Will Dean’ at a local Whole Foods in the near future. If it does happen, you read it here first.

Best of luck in Brazil.



Written & Photographed by Choi David // www.choidavid.com // @choidavid420

Athlete: William Dean

Sponsored by: Tonic Lifestyle


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