Josh Dueck received a warm welcome home to the ski hill where it all began on Saturday when he appeared at Spring Splash.
Dueck spoke briefly to the crowd telling them he still felt he had to pinch himself to see if he was dreaming. He’d come a long way, he said, from ten years ago when he was faced with life in a wheelchair.
He also said that it was small town community roots and support from home that kept him grounded through all the hype and pressure of the Paralympics.’
“Kimberley will always be my hometown,” he said.
Dueck was officially welcomed by Mayor Ron McRae, who presented him with a lucky loonie to match the one struck by the Canadian Mint in honour of Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes. The hometown of every medal winner received a commemorative plaque. Dueck’s will hang at Kimberley City Hall.
He was also welcomed by Lloyd Steeves of the Kimberley Disabled Skiers Association, who gave an update on the race season at KAR and KAR manager Ted Funston who presented Dueck with special gifts for his new baby daughter Nova. The gifts included a Kimberley Alpine Resort onesie and Nova’s first ski pass, which Funston said he hoped would be the first of many.