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This new episode of Salomon Freeski TV follows Josh Dueck, an aspiring freeskier and coach who was paralyzed from the waist down in 2004. Dueck is the subject of a new documentary called "Freedom Chair," which was produced by Mike Douglas. Let me start off with a personal confession about this latest episode: I can't stop grinning after seeing it. I'm grinning not just because Dueck is an insanely talented athlete doing seemingly impossible things on a sit-ski. Nor am I elated just because Dueck has defied the odds and come back to the sport he loved after a life-altering injury. The most exceptional aspect of this story is that Dueck has done something not many pro skiers have been able to do in the history of ski movies: He has accurately conveyed the importance of challenging oneself in skiing simply because it's satisfying to do so.
Podium chasers and energy drink logos have fogged the idea that skiers in front of the camera will go bigger and ski harder simply because it's fun to do so. But because the outside perception is that Dueck isn't chasing any pro career or any lucrative contracts, his passion for challenging himself becomes the highlight of the episode. And that's when we all see why skiing is important. Through Dueck's struggles and triumphs we can see how skiing can be the medium to push yourself for no other reason than because it's fulfilling.
This is what makes this episode so important, and what makes me smile, because through Dueck's life, we all see why we ski.