Hall of Fame induction opens memory floodgates for Josh Dueck

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 11, 2019

‘’Sport is really a great dress rehearsal for what we face in the real world’’


His 2019 Hall of Fame induction as one of Canada’s greatest Paralympians both on and off the slopes is a dose of good news in what’s been a tough year for Josh Dueck. 



Back in February his father Peter Dueck died from cancer then just two months ago, his mother, Vickie Dueck, passed away from heart-related complications – or some would say a broken heart. The couple were in their 50th year of marriage.

‘’I’ve been really reflecting on the values and lessons that they’ve instilled in my lifetime,’’ said Dueck, a triple Paralympic Games medallist in sit skiing over two Games (2010 and 2014). ‘’My dad taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. My mom taught me to be patient and to be gentle.’’

Learning he would be inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame has been an opportunity to reflect back on some great memories in that chapter of his life as a high-performance athlete. 

‘’I would never in my life imagined having a chance to travel the world with some great people, represent our beautiful country and then have success alongside that,’’ said the super combined sit ski champion at Sochi 2014, where he was also Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.

‘’I was just out for a good time, really enjoying the whole experience of being a skier. I felt really privileged to do that and represent Canada.’’

While there were some tough times after the accident in 2004 which left him a paraplegic, Dueck found an inner strength through sport that made him a champion and role model for people, whether able-bodied or with a disability.

‘’Sport is really a great dress rehearsal for what we face in the real world,’’ said Dueck, now married with two young children of his own. ‘’The last five years have not been without their challenges transitioning into different roles and capacities.’’

But as he did on the slopes, Dueck has surmounted those hurdles, made great impressions on people, and has now come full circle as the executive director of Freestyle BC. He was a freestyle skier and coached the sport before his accident.

‘’I always felt a responsibility, even a duty, to get back to sport,’’ he said. ‘’Sport has given me so much, to be able to give back to a sport body that has given me so much, it’s a perfect fit. I couldn’t be happier with the role that I have and the team that I work with.’’

Dueck also paid tribute to his Para alpine coach Jean-Sébastien Labrie.

‘’J.S. taught me the importance of communication and the ability to have this open and honest dialogue with the people around you,’’ he said. ‘’He would just have an open mind and do everything he could to keep that honest dialogue happening between the two of us.’’

Labrie though is but one of a very large group of people that played a vital role in Dueck reaching the top in his sport.

‘’I get to think of all the people that helped to shaped me and the lessons learned,’’ said Dueck, who continues to be involved in Para alpine skiing camps and does keynote speaking engagements.

‘’I want people to be stoked about life and be thankful and grateful. 

‘’But there are times you need to be gritty, to dig deep and to work hard.’’

Dueck will be officially inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame at a ceremony on November 15 in Vancouver. 

For more information: https://paralympic.ca/canadian-paralympic-hall-fame-and-sport-awards

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