A pioneer in Para alpine sit skiing, two-time Paralympian Josh Dueck reached the highest levels of his sport and remains an influential figure off the field of play.
Born in Kimberley, British Columbia, Dueck was destined for the slopes. He loved being on the snow and was a freestyle skier before an accident on the ski hill forced him to change his plans slightly. That still definitely included being on skis though, and he turned his attention instead to Para alpine skiing. Five years later he was competing – and winning – at the 2009 world championships.
He then made his Paralympic debut in his home province, suiting up for Canada at Vancouver 2010 where he won a silver medal in the men’s sitting slalom race.
In the ensuing years before the next Paralympic Games, he made waves by becoming the first person to complete a back flip on a sit ski. The daring and impressive feat gave him worldwide acclaim, including an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show and a nod as one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year.
He also recovered from a shoulder injury that saw him consider retirement before deciding to try and end his career on a high note.
Ultimately, Dueck was one of Canada’s stars at the Sochi 2014 Games. He captured his second Paralympic silver medal, this time in the downhill, before claiming a gold medal in the super combined. Thanks to his performance, he was named the nation’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.
In addition to his Paralympic achievements, Dueck also secured multiple World Cup and world championships podiums. He also captured a gold and bronze medal at the X-Games.
Well-respected for his successful exploits on the hill, Dueck is also a valued member of the international sport community for his work to advance the Paralympic Movement and inspire others to find their paths. Since his retirement from the sport following Sochi, Dueck has continued to be an active and strong voice.
He was a member of the CBC broadcast team on the ground at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, bringing the stories of Canada’s Paralympians back home and using his unique insight and expertise to enhance the commentary.
He is passionate about sharing his story about overcoming odds to make a difference through various speaking engagements, in the hopes of inspiring others to pursue their limits. He and his wife Lacey also provide mentorship for those who have experienced a life-altering injury. Through empowerment, Dueck celebrates growth and healing, and shows what is possible. His personal mantra is that passion plus perseverance equals possibility.
Heavily involved with many pursuits that promote active living, Dueck has acted as an ambassador for such organizations as High Fives Foundation, Rick Hansen Foundation, and Wings for Life. He is a peer mentor for Spinal Cord Injury BC, president of the Live it Love it Foundation promoting outdoor recreation activities for people with disabilities, and a director on the TELUS Community Board in the Thompson Okanagan region.
In September 2018, he was named executive director of Freestyle BC where he can directly impact the future of Canada’s freestyle skiers who are similarly vying for international success.
A Queen’s Diamond Jubilee recipient, Dueck was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, which was an evening he will never forget as he was able to celebrate his sports story one more time with his now late parents, Peter and Vickie Dueck.