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DUECK Josh
Sport Para alpine skiing
NPC Canada   
GenderMen
Age41
Place of BirthKimberley, CAN
Height1.78 m
Weight 66 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
LW11
Further Personal Information
Family
Wife Lacey, one daughter
Residence
Vernon, BC, CAN
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He learned to ski at age 13.
Why this sport?
"It became clear to me that sliding around on snow and flying through the air was how I wanted to live my life. Being a skier gave me an outlet to express my creativity."
Senior International Debut
Year
2008
Competing for
Canada
General Interest
Nicknames
Duey, Rajun Cajun, Popman Dueck, Duke (VANOC, 12 Feb 2010)
Hobbies
Swimming, tennis, cycling, kayaking, photography, travelling, sky diving, camping, reading. (joshdueck.com, 26 Mar 2013)
Memorable sporting achievement
Becoming the first sit-skier to complete a back flip [in Whistler Blackcomb, BC, Canada, in February 2012]. (joshdueck.com, 26 Mar 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The only difference between the possible and the impossible is one's attitude." (iamthatgirl.com, 14 Jul 2010)
Awards and honours
He was Canada's flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. (paralympic.org, 16 Mar 2014)

In January 2013 he received a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. (newswire.ca, 25 Jan 2013)
Other sports
Before his accident he represented British Columbia in freestyle skiing before moving into coaching. (vancouver2010.com, 21 Mar 2010)
Impairment
In March 2004 he broke his back in a test jump in Vernon, BC, Canada, which resulted in paraplegia. He sustained his injury while performing his signature move, the front-flip. He overshot the landing hill and fell 30 metres. Doctors inserted two rods and 14 bolts into his back to stabilise his spine. (youtube.com, 10 Jun 2010)
Other information
RETIREMENT
In November 2014 he announced his retirement from competitive para-alpine skiing. "I maybe have a few good seasons left in me, but itís also really nice to conclude my career on a positive note." (theglobeandmail.com, 13 Nov 2014; joshdueck.com, 09 Feb 2015)

EMOTIONAL ANNIVERSARY
He won a silver medal in the men's sitting downhill event at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. His success was 10 years to the day since he broke his back in a test jump. "Ten years ago today I broke my back and it's a very powerful moment of time. Moving forward in life is very important and I'm proud of that." (paralympic.org, 13 Mar 2014)

WORLD FIRST
In 2012 he became the first sit-skier to land a back flip, on a specially built ramp in British Colombia, Canada. (channel4.com, 25 Nov 2012)

DOCUMENTARY STAR
The documentary 'Freedom Chair' is a film about his life and shows how he returned to skiing after his 2004 injury. It was released in October 2011 and was awarded Best Mountain Sports Film at the 2011 Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada. In February 2014, he starred in a three-part documentary series called Milestones of Champions: The Journey of Canada's Paralympians. The series focused on eight Canadian athletes, highlighting their achievements and the challenges they faced while preparing for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. (liveitloveit.org, 07 Nov 2011; ami.ca, 12 Feb 2014; sochi2014.com, 03 Mar 2014)

ROLE MODEL
He has worked as a public speaker and also appeared on television since his accident. He is aware he has become a role model for younger people. "I'm fortunate that I've been able to take a traumatic situation in my life and do something positive with it. I get to live the dream and travel around being a skier. But I'm human and prone to making mistakes. I always warn people that if they look to me as a role model, I'm just working my way through life trying to have a better understanding of what my purpose is. If people can understand that and still want to use me as a role model, then I'm super flattered." (alpinecanada.org, 11 Jun 2013)

TOUGH TIMES
In an interview reflecting on the period that followed his accident, he admitted he had been suicidal because he had struggled to deal with the consequences of his injury and the extreme pain that went with it. He was given a drug seven times more potent than morphine, but it had no effect and he asked his father to "pull the plug" as he could not face the uncertainty of his future. He began skiing again nine months after his accident. (paralympic.ca, 10 Aug 2010; youtube.com, 10 Jun 2008)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
5 2010 Downhill - Sitting 1:19.88
2 2010 Slalom - Sitting 1:46.29
13 2010 Super-G - Sitting 1:25.66
  2010 Super Combined - Sitting  DSQ
2 2014 Downhill - Sitting 1:24.19 
  2014 Super-G - Sitting DNF
  2014 Slalom - Sitting DNF
1 2014 Super Combined - Sitting 2:18.20 
  2014 Giant Slalom - Sitting DNF
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2008/2009 Downhill - Sitting 1:49.66
  2008/2009 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
6 2008/2009 Giant Slalom - Sitting 2:17.01
16 2008/2009 Super-G - Sitting 1:03.79
  2008/2009 Super Combined - Sitting  DNF
5 2010/2011 Downhill - Sitting 1:22.41
8 2010/2011 Super-G - Sitting 1:22.27
10 2010/2011 Super Combined - Sitting 2:15.66
  2010/2011 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
7 2010/2011 Giant Slalom - Sitting 2:18.85
  2012/2013 Downhill - Sitting  DNF
6 2012/2013 Super-G - Sitting 1:14.81
  2012/2013 Slalom - Sitting  DNF
  2012/2013 Super Combined - Sitting  DNS
  2012/2013 Giant Slalom - Sitting  DNS
World Cup
Rank Year Event Result
14 2010/2011 Slalom - Sitting  
2 2010/2011 Giant Slalom - Sitting  
15 2011/2012 Slalom - Sitting  
17 2011/2012 Giant Slalom - Sitting  
3 2011/2012 Super-G - Sitting  
14 2012/2013 Downhill - Sitting  
11 2012/2013 Slalom - Sitting  
13 2012/2013 Giant Slalom - Sitting  
11 2013/2014 Downhill - Sitting  
9 2013/2014 Slalom - Sitting  
25 2013/2014 Giant Slalom - Sitting  
2 2013/2014 Super-G - Sitting