SOCHI, Russia, March 8, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian para-alpine team is
off to a red-hot start. Josh Dueck, of Kimberley, B.C. won silver and
Mac Marcoux, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., captured bronze in men's
downhill Saturday on the first day of competition at the 2014 Sochi
Paralympic Winter Games.
On the ten-year anniversary of the freestyle skiing accident that landed
him in a wheelchair, sit-skier Dueck celebrated his second Paralympic
silver medal, adding to his silver in slalom from the Vancouver 2010
Paralympic Winter Games.
"This is fantastic," Dueck said after the race. "I'm really about
performance, and I took a fast line down the hill and took some chances
and I got pretty lucky… I crossed the line and was thrilled. Second is
Though a long wait in the start caused by course delays proved
problematic for some racers, Dueck said the extra time helped him
harness his energy, think about family at home in Canada, and prepare
to "just absolutely send it."
"It was more about letting all that go and just skiing," said Dueck, who
raced with a photograph of his daughter placed over his heart.
Dueck looked poised for gold, topping the leaderboard as racer after
racer tried to match his fast line, but Japan's Akira Kano edged past
Dueck's time of one minute, 24.19 for the win (1:23.80). Takeshi
Suzuki, also of Japan, captured bronze (1:24.75).
Compared to his silver medal in Vancouver, Dueck credited much of
Friday's silver to a matured approach and also the sit-ski technology
the Canadian team has invested in developing during the past four
"The equipment has been huge. We've invested a lot of energy in keeping
this equipment competitive with the rest of the world, and maybe even a
little better," Dueck said. "I had the ability to trust in that, point
it down the hill and have a good time."
Sixteen-year-old Mac Marcoux, who races in the visually impaired
category, overcame a last-minute change to his guide to become what is
believed to be Canada's youngest-ever Paralympic medallist in the
alpine discipline. His regular guide and older brother, BJ Marcoux, 19,
was sidelined due to a back injury and so Marcoux was instead guided by
Robin Fémy of Mont-Tremblant, Que.
"It's so surreal right now," Marcoux said of earning bronze (1:23.02) in
his first Paralympic Games. "This is the highlight of my career, by
far. It's so exciting. My brother BJ is still here cheering me on from
the bottom, and when I crossed the finish line he was the first person
I heard whistling from the stands. As soon as I came down I knew he was
there, and it meant a lot."
"When we went down that last pitch, I looked up and saw the sea of the
crowd and heard the noise, and the feeling was unreal," added Fémy.
"Coming into this race not knowing what was going to happen and now
being on the podium, I mean it doesn't get much better than that."
Spain's Yon Santacana captured gold in the visually impaired category
(1:21.76), while Miroslav Haraus of Slovakia earned silver (1:22.01).
Canada's Kurt Oatway, of Calgary, Alta., and Caleb Brousseau, of
Terrace, B.C., were fifth (1:25.46) and sixth (1:25.62), respectively,
in the sit-ski category. Both athletes were making their Paralympic
debut. Standing skiers Braydon Luscombe, from Duncan, B.C., and Kirk
Schornstein, of Spruce Grove, Alta., also racing in their first Games,
did not finish. There were no Canadian female athletes competing in the
Next up is Sunday's men's super-G, which will feature the same Canadian
athletes who raced in Saturday's downhill, in addition to Coquitlam,
B.C.'s Matt Hallat.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Media are invited to visit photos.paralympic.ca and create an account to be able to download high-resolution photos of
Canadian Paralympic athletes at any time, at no cost.
For full information about Team Canada at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic
Games, please visit paralympic.ca/team-canada.
SOURCE: Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
For further information:
Media attaché, para-alpine
SOCHI cell: 011-7-938-454-3196
Press Chief and para-snowboard media attaché
SOCHI Cell: 011-7-938-454-3162