Three-time Paralympic medalist Josh Dueck of Vernon was one of seven people who expressed those emotions at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel Saturday, Nov. 15, as he was inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame.
Dueck won silver in Para Alpine skiing in the slalom at the 2010 Paralympics at Vancouver-Whistler, followed that up by becoming the first sit-skier to successfully complete a back flip in 2012, which earned him a seat beside noted TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on her show, then added gold and silver at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.
Dueck was named flag bearer for Canada for the Sochi closing ceremonies.
“When I look back on my sports career, I am so thankful beyond any measure that it helped me develop the tools, and the skills and the experience to not only negotiate and manage this life that we live in that can be crazy, and awesome, but it also gives us the skills to appreciate it and thrive within it,” said Dueck during his induction speech.
Dueck is joined in the Class of 2019 by fellow Okanagan athlete, wheelchair rugby player Garett Hickling of Kelowna.
“You do something you love for so many years, and to be recognized like this, it’s just amazing,” said Hickling.
Also inducted were athletes Colette Bourgonje of Porcupine Plain, Sask. (Para Nordic Skiing, wheelchair racing), Viviane Forest of Edmonton (Para Alpine Skiing and goalball) and Joey Johnson of Lorette, Man. (wheelchair basketball), as well as coach Joe Rea of Prince George (wheelchair curling) and builder Kathy Newman of Vancouver (wheelchair sports).
“Congratulations to the new members of the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame,” said Marc-André Fabien, president, Canadian Paralympic Committee. “The class of 2019 truly is represented by special individuals who have been pillars of the Paralympic Movement in Canada for decades. The Canadian Paralympic Committee, and our entire community in Canada, is so grateful for their dedication, passion, commitment, and their tremendous contributions to Para sport in this country.”
The Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates athletes, coaches, and builders who have made a significant impact on the growth and development of the Paralympic Movement in Canada.
A new class of inductees is honoured every two years.