Freestyle Skier Deidra Dionne to retire due to brain tumor

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 8, 2009 3:13 pm

After fighting her way back to the slopes after suffering a broken neck, Olympic medalist Deidra Dionne has announced her retirement from the world of freestyle skiing due to a brain tumor.  Dionne told the press that the tumor “is benign and small, but the medication needed for treatment would make it too dangerous” for her to keep competing.  She added, “I believe you are only dealt things you can handle.  Out of everyone on the team I am the most prepared for this to happen.”

Dionne reportedly discovered the tumor this summer when she “woke up with a black eye, facial wounds and bruises on her body.”  Canadian Freestyle Association physician Dr. Jeff Purkis believes that Dionne could have had the tumor for years.  He believes there is no need to operate on it, but does fear that the athlete “could suffer from a seizure just as she launched herself out of the gate for a jump, or while twisting in the air high above the ground.”

In September of 2005, Dionne was almost paralyzed when she injured her neck after suffering from a training accident. Surgery was required with a titanium plate and a bone graft fusing two vertebra together.  Dionne battled back to the mountaintop and competed in the 2006 Turin Games, placing 22nd overall.

Dionne has recently applied to law school to “continue living [her] life once [she's] done skiing.”