Josh Dueck

Josh Dueck

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Alpine Skier, Paralympic Gold Medallist

Josh Dueck grew up in in Kimberley, BC Canada. It was in this rural mountain town where his love and appreciation for the great outdoors was born. He learned how to ski at the age of 13, and joined the local freestyle club when he was 15. It became clear to him that sliding around on snow and flying through the air was how he wanted to live his life. Being a skier gave Josh an outlet to express his creativity.

He spent several years pursuing his dream to be an Olympian. That goal was forced into retirement due to financial constraints; Josh then redirected his energy into coaching. It was while he was coaching that he sustained a spinal cord injury, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Life as he knew it no longer existed.

Experiencing such a powerful personal transformation opened Josh up to some beautiful realizations about life, love and how deeply connected we are on so many levels. With the help of his now-mentor Rick Hansen, Josh’s gained a new outlook and soon took back to the slopes that he loves so much.

By 2009, Josh was the Para-Alpine World Champion, he won a sliver medal for Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics and a followed that performance with an X Games gold medal.

Then came the backflip.

After a year of planning and progression, Josh and a film crew, lead by legendary industry director Mike Douglas, ventured into the Whistler backcountry to build a jump that would help safely land the first backflip on a sit-ski.

Then, on a perfect blue-bird day in February 2012, Josh hit the jump, soared upside down and landed in the soft-snow below. It also landed Josh on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Today Josh lives an inspired life as an ambassador for the Rick Hansen Foundation, an inspiring speaker, a 2012 finalist for National Geographic’s “Adventurer of the Year,” and the documentary, Freedom Chair, won just about every film festival award possible. He’s also the Vice President for the LIVE it LOVE it Foundation for youth with a disability to provide accessibility for outdoor adventure opportunities.

At the 2014 Sochi Paralympic games – 10 years to the day of his accident – Josh won another silver medal in the sit-ski downhill event. He followed this up six days later by winning a gold medal in the men’s super combined.

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Speaking topics

Full Circle: Overcoming Adversity

Through seemingly insurmountable odds, Josh Dueck has overcome incredible adversity to redeem a jump gone wrong while staying true to his core belief that intuition is our inner guide and that in order to fully express ourselves, we need to find, and explore, our creative outlets.

Video clips

Josh Dueck: Full Circle TedxYYV

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