Pure freedom. It’s what Josh Dueck feels while carving a mountain at 120km/hr on his mono-ski. And if his legendary career has taught us anything, it’s that when a determined individual with his spirit finds that sweet spot, look out, because suddenly anything becomes possible.
Growing up in Kimberley, Dueck was a member of the BC provincial freestyle team and later transitioned into coaching at Vernon’s Silver Star Freestyle Club. In 2004, he was demonstrating a jump for his athletes when he landed on his chest, dislocating his back and severing his spinal column. At the hospital, the doctor told him he’d be back on the mountains soon in a sit-ski. Just nine months later it happened and he gradually developed into one of the world’s best sit-skiers.
A member of Canada’s Para-Alpine ski team from 2008-14 and eight-time national champion, Dueck collected ten career IPC World Cup podium finishes, including five victories. In 2009, he won the world downhill sit-ski championship. The following year he won a silver medal in slalom sitting at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics. Gold came next at the 2011 X Games.
In 2012, Dueck became the first person in history to land a back flip in a sit-ski. His accomplishment went viral and earned him an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show as well as a National Geographic nomination as Adventurer of the Year.
Dueck’s career highlight came at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, winning gold in super combined and silver in downhill, and subsequently being chosen as Canada’s Closing Ceremonies flagbearer.
Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
To view the 2018 Inductee career and thank you videos please visit our YouTube Channel here.