April 4, 1985
Smoky Lake, AB
Ian Daffern, Bruce Johnson
National Ski Team Background:
Cross-country skiing wasn’t even on Derek’s radar six years ago when he was first introduced to the sport. He progressed through the development pathway with ups and downs along the way. A triple medal performance at the 2015 (one gold, two silver), gave Derek the belief he could represent Canada in the sport internationally. After years of of hard work and commitment he finally made his way onto the National Team in 2019.
Introduction to Cross-Country Skiing:
Derek got involved in the sport as a cross training opportunity for hand cycling. He adapted quite quickly and enjoys the competition. His dreams is simple and requires hours of work – win a medal at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
Prior to his accident in 2006, Derek was enjoying life like any youngster – finished secondary school and was at the height of his motocross career. Life changed in a blink of an eye with his accident and he struggled for years trying to adapt to the challenges he now faced. Skiing, and being a part of the team, has helped him overcome many obstacles and challenges along the way. He still is keen to complete post-secondary education, ideally something in the sports field. Outside of skiing he loves snowmobiling, quading and water activities.
2019 – World Championships, Prince George, B.C.: 4 (biathlon sprint), 5 (cross country middle distance)