Josh Dueck, para-alpine skiing

Josh Dueck is heading to his second Paralympic Games. (Courtesy Canadian Paralympic Committee)

A former freestyle skiing coach who first experienced skiing while on a school field trip in Grade 11, Josh Dueck broke his back in 2004 when he overshot a demonstration jump and was told he would have to “rock the world” in a wheelchair.

He has a spinal cord injury and has risen up the ranks as an ace sit-skier.

Dueck, who is from Kimberley, B.C., won gold in Mono Skier X at the 2011 X Games, bronze at the 2012 X Games
and silver in slalom at the 2010 Paralympics. He has won multiple IPC World Cup podiums and is the 2009 world downhill champion.

Sochi is Dueck’s second Paralympic Games. At the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games he was a silver medallist in slalom, placed fifth in downhill and 13th in super-G.

In February 2012, Dueck shot to international acclaim when he went upside-down and became the first sit-skier to complete a backflip on snow – earning him world-wide notoriety and an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He is a ski enthusiast when not racing, and has gone cat-skiing and heli-skiing with his sit-ski.

He is a vocal advocate for workplace safety and accessibility in sport, and in 2013 gave a TED Talk about his experiences.

Dueck credits much of his success to his wife, Lacey, with whom he welcomed their first child last year. Off the slopes, Dueck is a yoga enthusiast and the vice-president of the Live It! Love It! Foundation, which provides outdoor adaptive adventure opportunities for people with disabilities.

(Courtesy Canadian Paralympic Committee)