An acclaimed Paralympic champion with local roots has been named to a leadership role as Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Games.
Josh Dueck, a retired para-skier who captured gold and silver medals over two Paralympic Games, will serve as Chef de Mission for Canada’s athletes at the 2022 Beijing Paralympics.
“When I got the call with the news that I was named to lead the Canadian Paralympic Team my mind started to dance with possibility,” said Dueck. “To be a champion for sport, friend, and mentor to the athletes, and part of the support team for Canada at the Paralympic Games is an incredible privilege. There is a great sense of honour and duty that comes with this storied role, and I look forward to learning from our history and building on this legacy with our teams.”
Dueck, who was born in Kimberley, has a long and successful career in international competition as a sit-skier.
He captured a gold medal in super combined and a silver medal in downhill at the 2014 Sochi Paralympics in Russia, and was named Canada’s flagbearer for the closing ceremonies. Four years earlier on home soil, Dueck skied to a silver medal in slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics.
Since his retirement from international competition, Dueck is currently working as executive director of Freestyle BC, as well as a peer mentor, motivational speaker and ambassador.
Dueck particularly likes to work with those who have experienced a life-altering injury like he did sixteen years ago while on the mountain slopes, believing in empowering individuals to discover what is possible for them.
He currently resides in Vernon with his wife Lacey and children Nova and Hudson.
The chef de mission is a leadership role that promotes, celebrates and encourages national athletes, coaches and support staff, and Dueck hopes to lend and share his Paralympic experiences with Team Canada.
“I hope to be fearlessly authentic in my life, work, and actions as chef de mission in an effort to inspire and challenge the entire team, as well as Canadians from coast to coast to coast, to be brave in the face of adversity,” said Dueck. “One measure of success will be to see the athletes achieve, and exceed, their competitive goals at the Games.
“Winning may not be everything to everyone, nor should it be. As my father would tell me, the intrinsic reward is sufficient. My hope is that each athlete and coach feel they have done everything in their control to prepare themselves for their moment to shine.
“The story of every athlete is filled with hope, opportunity, challenge and often uncertainty. Athletes are trained to embrace challenge, let go of the things they cannot control, and to persevere through even the most difficult situations, in an effort to be a little better today than we were yesterday. In the world today, we need more beacons of hope that remind us we can rise above the challenges we face. My goal is to help share these stories of hope.”
Dueck was inducted into the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame last year, and has also worked as a a broadcaster with the CBC during the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Korea.
“We could not be more pleased to have Josh come on board for Beijing 2022,” said Marc-André Fabien, president, Canadian Paralympic Committee. “He is the epitome of strong athlete leadership and will bring so much positive energy, thoughtful introspection, fresh ideas, and valuable support to the team. He is incredibly well respected within the sport community, has been a longtime passionate advocate for Paralympic sport, and brings in many different experiences and perspectives from his many roles in sport.
“We know his leadership and presence will make a difference for the entire Canadian Paralympic Team in Beijing.”
The Beijing Paralympic Winter Games are currently scheduled for March 4-13, 2022, and Canada is expected to compete in all five sports — Para alpine skiing, Para nordic skiing, Para snowboard, Para ice hockey and wheelchair curling.
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