With the Olympic Games wrapped up this past weekend, Sochi prepares to host the world again as the Paralympics run March 7 to 16, 2014.
Kimberley’s Josh Dueck, Paralympic silver medalist in the Slalom (sitski) in Vancouver 2010, is already in Europe preparing for the Games.
He watched the alpine events at the Olympics with more interest than the casual viewer.
“We do race on the same venues as they use in the Olympics,” said. “It was fun to watch the men’s downhill race to gather a better idea of how the course will run.”
Dueck will run all the alpine races in Sochi, beginning with the Downhill on March 8. Super G on the 9th, Super Combined on the 11th, Slalom on the 13th and GS on the 15th.
He has no idea what conditions will be on the courses by the time the Games begin.
“It sounds like it is warm in Sochi, which will make for interesting conditions. Given that it’s a coastal resort, the weather could be even warmer when we arrive or dump a few metres of snow when we are there. It’s nothing to worry about as it’s out of our control.
“I’m more than happy to run in warm conditions — it does not bother me a whole lot. If it ends up being warmer I feel like it may compliment a person who is a better all-around skier, rather than one that is specifically a highly trained ski racer.”
Dueck had an entire cheering section of family and friends on hand in Vancouver, but that won’t be the case in Sochi.
“My family will not be able to make it over to Russia, unfortunately. It’s too big of a trip with too many variables. I know that my wife and daughter will be with me in spirit and everyone else will be sending their best vibes over with me. It’s a collective effort and their energy will be felt.”