Vernon’s own Paralympian Josh Dueck is soaring once again –– all the way to Hollywood.
The 31-year-old athlete has just reached the record books as the first sit-skier to ever land a back flip. The stunt, captured on the Salomon sponsored Freeski TV in Whistler, went viral, hitting more than half a million hits after it aired on YouTube Feb. 6.
This latest feat has also garnered Dueck international media attention, with a recent appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America and ESPN. And now Dueck and his wife, Lacey, also a resident of Vernon, will be making an appearance on American talk show, the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The former freestyle coach at Silver Star Mountain, who became a paraplegic after missing a jump during a training run at Silver Star in 2004, Dueck has since captured worldwide attention as a champion sit skier.
He hit the podium as a silver medalist in the slalom sit-ski event at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games, and earned a gold at Mono Skier X at the 2011 X Games.
His courage over adversity, and quest to hit the backcountry on his sit-ski, was recently captured in the film The Freedom Chair.
Dueck recently attended the December screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, where he introduced the film, which was made by free-ski legend Mike Douglas.
(Douglas also filmed Dueck’s attempt of the back flip for Salomon Freeski.)
The Freedom Chair won the award for Best Film on Mountain Sports at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Dueck’s appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show airs Wednesday. The Morning Star interviewed Dueck about his recent accomplishments, which appears in Wednesday’s edition.