"The dream has changed and taken the shape of a little girl, my daughter, Nova and my beautiful wife, Lacey. So, the time has come to retire from competition"
Canada’s Josh Dueck has been thanked for his achievements by the Canadian Paralympic Committee after he announced his retirement from alpine skiing.
Dueck won gold and silver medals at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Russia and was named Canada's flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.
He also won a silver medal at his home Paralympic Games at Vancouver 2010, and in 2012, Dueck became the world's first sit-skier to complete a backflip on snow.
"Josh is the epitome of a champion, both on and off the ski hill," said Gaétan Tardif, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
"As an athlete relentlessly seeking excellence, and as a spokesperson in sharing his story with so many audiences, Josh is truly a role model for all Canadians. We wish him well in retirement and know he will continue to have a positive impact on Canadian sport."
Dueck, 33, penned a heartfelt open letter to Canadians, reflecting on his career, his next steps and thanking his supporters, which can be viewed on his blog.
"The life of a ski racer is extremely fun, totally exhilarating and pretty scary at times," Dueck wrote.
"To be your best is an incredible commitment of time and energy. My priorities are no longer what they once were, I no longer dream of being the fastest skier in the world.
"The dream has changed and taken the shape of a little girl, my daughter, Nova and my beautiful wife, Lacey. So, the time has come to retire from competition and redirect my energy on family, community and new adventures."
Along with focusing on his family, Dueck is working on a book about redefining what's possible, as told through his personal experiences.
Despite retirement, the 33-year-old plans to stay involved as an ambassador for para-alpine skiing through coaching, mentoring, and helping to test and develop equipment for upcoming athletes.
Not only this, but he will also pursue his passion for free-skiing as an athlete at the upcoming XGames in Aspen, Colorado, USA.
Dueck’s teammates will travel to their home World Championships when they compete in the IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in Panorama, Canada, between 1-10 March 2015.
For more information, visit the Canadian Paralympic Committee website.