Dueck upbeat over public response
For Josh Dueck, the nomination was everything.
Vernon’s Paralympian sit-skier was one of 10 finalists for the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year People’s Choice award after he became the first sit-skier to successfully land a backflip.
Dueck, however, lost out in the online voting contest to Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner as National Geographic announced the winner of Adventurer of the Year on its website.
Baumgartner free fell from nearly 128,000 feet above earth on Oct. 14, 2012, and set three official world records.
The National Geographic contest drew more than 55,000 online votes.
“It’s no real surprise to me that Felix took home the 2013 National Geographic People’s Choice Award, he had so much momentum – no pun intended – behind him when the contest started,” said Dueck in an e-mail from Sochi, Russia on Thursday, where he was at the Paralympic test event (Thursday was the one-year anniversary to the start of the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi).
Dueck won a silver medal at the 2010 Paralympics at Whistler.
“For me it (People’s Choice) was all about the nomination and all the people that rallied behind me,” said Dueck.
“It was really cool to see how many people in the community voted on a regular basis. I’ve been blown away with the response this campaign received.”
Also nominated for the People’s Choice honour were South African kayaker Steve Fisher; American biker and humanitarian Shannon Galpin; Lizzy Hawker, British ultrarunner; American snowboarder Jeremy Jones; Austrian climber David Lama; American explorer Mike Libecki; Ramon Navarro, a Chilean surfer; and American artist Renan Ozturk.
All of their stories, including Dueck’s, can be found at http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/adventurers-of-the-year/2013/.
While he was in Sochi helping test the site for the Paralympics, Dueck said he’s not sure if he will compete in 2014.
Dueck will be hosting his first JDS4 (Sit Ski Shred Session) camp at Silver Star March 22 to 24, presented by The Live It! Love It! Foundation.
The camp will be a unique and progressive training weekend for novice sit skiers and is composed of two different components.
There will be an on-hill skills training component, led by Dueck, followed by a workshop called Undisabling The Mind, where there will be peer mentorship in an open discussion.
“I also have a few other coaching opportunities lined up in B.C. and California, with a focus on bringing the sport of sit ski into the lives of those who could not otherwise afford the opportunity,” said Dueck, who added, “There are also a few other adventures brewing up right now and will surface in good time.”