Pyeongchang a defining moment for London skier

Freestyle skier Dave Duncan didn't compete in Vancouver because of an injury, and placed 26th after a fall in Sochi. At age 35, he views Pyeongchang as an opportunity to prove himself.

Dave Duncan views 2018 as his shot at redemption after disappointing results in 2010 and 2014

London's Dave Duncan competes in ski cross, a freestyle race involving four competitors and a mix of natural and artificial terrain. (dave-duncan.ca)
A freestyle skier on Canada's Olympic squad views Pyeongchang as a defining moment in his career after disappointing results in the last two Olympics.

Dave Duncan, a 35 year-old freestyle skier originally from Byron, broke his collarbone in 2010 while training for the Vancouver Olympics and was unable to compete. In the 2014 Sochi Olympics, he fell and ended up far from the podium at 26th place

Now, in what is likely his last Olympics, he's ready to show what he can do.

"From a results standpoint it gives me another opportunity for redemption," Duncan said.
Dave Duncan, second from the left, as a member of the London Ski Club in 1993.


Although he lives in Whistler, B.C., Duncan was born and raised in London, Ont. He learned to ski on Boler Mountain.

Duncan competes in a freestyle skiing sport called ski cross. Ski cross is a race against the clock between four competitors at a time. The 1050-metre run features both natural and artificial terrain. 

He says other than bigger bumps and more cameras, not much has changed since his formative years in the sport.

Beginnings at Boler 

"Ultimately it's a throwback to when I was skiing there in London at Boler Mountain and just racing my buddies down to the bottom," he said.

The first time his mother bought him new skis he was so excited he jumped off of a couch and broke his arm — which may have been an omen.

"It was the first injury of many," Duncan said with a laugh.

Among those injuries was a broken collarbone that kept him out of the 2010 Vancouver Games. While Duncan was crushed that he wouldn't be able to compete at home, he got words of inspiration from Paralympian and activist Rick Hansen.

"Rick didn't allow me to have a little pity party for very long," Duncan said. "All he had to say to me was really quite simple, which was it's what I do from this moment that will define it."

After a fall in 2014 dashed his medal hopes, he's looking at 2018 as his defining moment.

Men's ski cross takes place February 21 at 9:30 p.m. ET. Follow the action at olympics.cbc.ca

With files from Richard Raycraft