The backflip seen round the world

Josh Dueck up for National Geographic's ‘Adventurer of the Year’ Award

  • Nov. 5, 2012 9:00 a.m.

Remember this? Last February

Carolyn Grant

It was the backflip seen around the world, as Kimberley’s Josh Dueck landed the historic jump last year. The video of the flip went viral; he appeared on the Ellen Show and became something of a celebrity. In addition, the award winning film “The Freedom Chair,” chronicling Dueck’s life as a sit-skier was cleaning up at film festivals. And through it all, Dueck continued to win with the National Para-Alpine ski team on the World Cup circuit.

Now Dueck is being recognized by National Geographic Magazine, and has been chosen as one of 10 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year.

National Geographic says on its website that it selected the 2013 ‘Adventurers’ because of “their remarkable achievements in exploration, conservation, humanitarianism, and adventure sports.”

Austrian Felix Baumgartner, who broke the sound barrier in October with his free-fall from space, is also among those selected.

“For eight years, National Geographic has combed the globe to find Adventurers of the Year, each selected for his or her extraordinary achievement in exploration, conservation, humanitarianism, and adventure sports. This year, we selected people who are adventure innovators—a surfer riding giants; a skier landing the first sit-ski backflip; a mountain biker pedaling across cultural boundaries; a BASE jumper falling from space; and more,” the website reads.

This is a voting competition to pick the People’s Choice for Adventurer of the Year. You can vote for Dueck at ngadventure.com until January 16, 2013.

Dueck, reached at home in Vernon over the weekend, says he’s thrilled at the honour.

“All the people who were selected are amazing and no matter who wins, I’ll always have that nomination.” However, he does urge all his Kimberley friends and supporters to visit the website and vote.

“You can vote every day,” he said. “Like my friend Shane Gibson, another Kimberley boy said, ‘Dueck, I’m not going to vote for you just because you’re my buddy. I’m going to have a good look at all the nominees.

“But I’m very, very excited to have this nomination from National Geographic because it is something I grew up with,” said Dueck. “My dad was a huge fan and I swear he probably owned 90 per cent of the volumes from the beginning of the 1900s through ‘til now.”

As for life on the World Cup circuit, that remains very much a part of Dueck’s life. He is in training now and the first races are at Panorama in late November. He is also looking forward to the World Cup finals at Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic games.

“We get to check out the site,” he said.

He plans to be there in 2014.

“The Olympics are definitely one of my goals right now,” he said. “I enjoy skiing and the opportunity to once again be a Paralympian is something to be treasured, so why not?”

You can vote for Dueck as National Geographic Adventurer of the year at ngadventure.com

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