Josh Dueck was an accomplished freestyle competitive skier and ski instructor when he suffered a serious accident that left him with a T11 spinal cord injury that left him in a wheelchair, paralyzed him from the abdomen down in 2004. Recently, Dueck won the bronze medal in the Mono Skier X during the Winter X Games, but he’s not stopping there. With a lot of hard work and determination, Dueck became the first paraplegic skier to accomplish a sit-ski backflip.
The star of the Switchback Entertainment film Freedom Chair, which won Best Documentary at Powder Magazine‘s 2012 Powder Awards, dreamed of doing another back flip while still in the hospital bed following his injury. With the help of the sit-ski, a chair that allows for skiing via a monoski, Dueck set out to overcome the obstacles and accomplish his dream.
He began practicing at the Barn at Woodward A. Copper, an indoor training facility on Copper Mountain in Colorado that offers a foam pit for skiers to practice new moves safely. Once he had the mechanics of the back flip down, he returned to his home in British Columbia, where he practiced with an airbag at the Powder Mountain Snowcat operation in Whistler. Then on February 3rd, he took to the snow and completed the first ever sit-ski backflip, as seen below.