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Vernon’s Josh Dueck inducted into Canadian Disability Hall of Fame

Dueck is a two-time Paralympian and was flag bearer for the 2014 Paralympic closing ceremonies.
Vernon’s Josh Dueck is a 2022 inductee into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame. (Submitted photo)

Vernon’s Josh Dueck will be inducted into the 2022 Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.

Dueck is a two-time Paralympian and influential leader of sport. He learned to ski at the age of 13 and later worked as a coach of the Silver Star Freestyle Ski Club.

In 2004, while attempting to demonstrate a jump to a group of club members, Duek crashed, resulting in him being paralyzed below the waist.

But this triagic accident didn’t slow him down from pursuing the sport he loved. Within a year of his injury, Dueck was back on the hill as a sit-skier. He made his Paralympic debut at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, where he won a silver medal in the men’s sitting slalom race.

The following year, Dueck made waves when he became the first person to complete a backflip on a sit ski, a feat which propelled him to a spot on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2012.

In 2013, he was named one of National Geographic’s adventurers of the year.

Dueck captured his second Paralympic silver medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, as well as a gold medal in the super combined event. He was named Canada’s flag bearer for the closing ceremony.

Dueck is both a Canadian Paralympic Hall of Famer and a B.C. Sports Hall of Famer.

Since retiring from sport, Dueck has continued to be an ambassador for Paralympians across the country, including serving as chef de mission of the Beijing 2022 Canadian Paralympic Team and sitting on the International Paralympic Committee Athletes’ Council.

Dueck is being inducted into the Hall of Fame’s achiever category, which goes to a person who has worked to heighten public awareness about persons with physical disabilities and increase opportunities for them in the area of sports, education, employment and housing.

“I’ve been doing this for 29 years, and each year our selection board does an incredible job of identifying individuals who are genuine heroes of our society. They stand out for their accomplishments, and they inspire us all to be better citizens, neighbours and friends, thanks to the contributions of this year’s extraordinary inductees — and all those who preceded them into the Hall of Fame — Canada is a better place with a brighter future for all its citizens, today and in the future,” said Hon. David Crombie.

Dueck is joined by two other inductees into this year’s Disability Hall of Fame: builder Lorin MacDonald and athlete Greg Westlake.

- background information courtesy of the Museum and Archives of Vernon

READ MORE: Vernon’s own Dueck elected to International Paralympics Committee Athlete’s Council

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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