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Canadian Paralympic gold medalist reflects on career so far and love for his sport


Canadian Paralympic gold medalist Josh Dueck has had to overcome a number of obstacles throughout his career in order to get to where he is now.

Dueck is an ace sit-skier who has received multiple awards and medals for his participation in the sport. He says he’s lucky to live in a place like Canada where getting up on the hill is so accessible.

“I feel blessed to live in Canada, I feel blessed to have the opportunities that we do have. I grew up and outdoors kid, and I had an accident in 2004, and to close that door and shut it out, I think that would’ve suffocated me,” said Dueck in an interview with CTV’s Ana Almeida in an interview.

“Living where we do in a country like Canada, there are opportunities to be bold and be brave, and I knew I had to get back on the mountains in some way, shape or form.”

Dueck is a former freestyle skiing coach, but after overshooting a demonstration jump in 2004, he broke his back, leaving him without the ability to walk, or ski, again.

He did not let that stop him from getting back on the snow though.

“Part of my motivation was, I hurt myself in front of a group of kids I was coaching, and I needed to live that parable that ‘if you fall down get back up again, if you fall down get back up one more time,’ and so I did, and it just evolved into what it was,” said Dueck.

“Timing was on my side, I was injured in 2004, and the Olympic and Paralympic games were in Vancouver in 2010, so it just fed into itself.”

Since then, Dueck has been able to solidify his spot in the history of the sport, taking home silver in the slalom at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, and a double medal performance at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, where he took home gold in the super combined, and silver in the downhill. He was names Canada’s flag bearer for the closing ceremony that year.

Dueck also received international attention in 2012, when he became the first ever sit-skier to do a backflip in the snow, which earned him an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Josh Dueck performs a backflip on a sit ski on a mountain. (Courtesy: Josh Dueck)“No matter where it is, whether it’s in the field of play, or whether it’s outside, there’s so much life to live. I suspect that part of my experience comes from how much I’ve lost, to still see how much is out there.”

As for those shiny medals? Dueck says it’s rare they see the light of day.

“I am the Sheppard and the keeper of these medals, they live in a shoe box and they’re not on display,” said Dueck. “There’s other things to talk about I guess, but my kids have their friends come over every once in a while; they’ll play with them. I love being able to take them out to different events and share that, because it’s a piece of Canada, it’s a piece of our history, and the country helped build my sports story.”

Dueck says one of the things he loves most about what he does is being able to motivate others.

“I think sport is the conduit for that proof, and it’s amazing. I love that about my story, and I love that about an athlete’s story,” said Dueck. “We’re here to help people see the potential in themselves, and if you can see it, then you can be it, and I’m one of the many examples of that, and I absolutely Top Stories

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