Tag Archives: Josh

2022 Canadian Paralympic chef de mission Josh Dueck embracing the unknown

As chef de mission for Canada’s 2022 Paralympic team, Josh Dueck wants to create opportunity from the unknown.

It’s a mantra he takes from Ozzie Sawicki, who served in the role while Dueck was winning a gold medal in super combined alpine skiing at the 2014 Sochi Games.

As other teams set out to the hill to begin training, Canada was left behind due to a luggage mixup. It wasn’t a major setback, but it did throw off athletes’ practice schedules.

Sawicki turned it into a positive: “This additional time to acclimatize, to [get] some recovery training is going to play to our advantage. The other teams up there, they’re getting some training in, but they’re going to wear thin,” Dueck recalls Sawicki saying.

“He just held this really great space for us and just turned what was like a pretty big unknown and uncertainty into an opportunity,” Dueck said. “And then from that opportunity, we were able to springboard.”

Of course, Dueck is already dealing with much more than lost luggage one year ahead of the Beijing Paralympics. There’s the coronavirus pandemic that already caused the delay of the Tokyo Games and continues to define lives around the world even as vaccines begin to roll out.

And then there’s the increasing calls from rights groups, including some in Canada, calling for a boycott in Beijing to protest reported human rights abuses against the Muslim ethnic minority Uyghurs in China.

In 2014, Dueck didn’t know whether his luggage would arrive. In 2022, the arrival of the Games themselves are in question.

“There’s a lot of things happening in the world and I feel that my life and experiences really prepared me well to be there to hold space with the athletes and the teams as we venture into the unknown,” Dueck said.

Dueck, 40, was born in Kimberley B.C., but currently resides in Vernon, B.C. In addition to the Sochi gold, the skier won downhill silver in 2014 as well as silver in sitting slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics.

WATCH | What to expect from Dueck as chef de mission:

Paralympic champion Josh Dueck has been named the chef de mission for the 2022 Paralympic games. Josh speaks with Scott Russell about his new role, and what he hopes to bring to the table. 5:31

He says he was approached then about his willingness to boycott the Sochi Games due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and his reaction still stands now.

“If I compete in the games, I have an opportunity to inspire some change through my life and actions. And if I don’t, then that opportunity is gone.”

Dueck points to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi, who both spouted the positive power of sport as a uniting force. The Olympics and Paralympics certainly fall under that umbrella.

And while Dueck says the treatment of the Uyghur people in China breaks his heart, the idea of a boycott is not relevant.

“I think it’s important that the Canadian government has taken a position. I think it’s important that other national governments take a position. I think it’s important that the United Nations make this a priority as the truth of the matter needs to be seen and heard,” Dueck said. 

“I don’t think it’s the position of our athletes to boycott the games, and I’m not sure if that’s going to have a significant effect on the Chinese government in their actions right now.”

Eyes on the prize amid pandemic

Meanwhile, as COVID-19 continues to rage across the world, athletes remain challenged to find training time and space. 

The Canadian Paralympic Committee continues to take guidance from national health offices as well as top doctors to help inform training programs with just 365 days to go.

“Being diligent to the guidelines that are being put in place, that obviously has created some restrictions for our ability to travel and compete at this time. But when we’re allowed and where we’re allowed, we’re fully maximizing those opportunities,” Dueck said.

Dueck was inducted to the Canadian Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2019. (Lydia Nagai/Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Beijing hopeful Mark Arendz, an eight-time Paralympic medallist in Nordic skiing, said knowing the Paralympics were around the corner has helped him through the pandemic.

“It has been reassuring throughout the past year to keep my focus on the start of the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, acting as a steadfast anchor and point of reference. A point where I can always look towards and direct myself despite the surrounding chaos. Now the goal comes into greater focus, being just one year away,” Arendz said.

1st to land backflip on sit ski

In addition to his trio of medals, Dueck also lays claim to being the first person to land a backflip on a sit ski. The idea began as an uncertainty — almost a joke — soon after he first broke his back in a skiing accident in 2004.

After medalling in Vancouver, those whispers started to become reality. It took less than a year before Dueck stuck the back flip, which he says rivals the feeling of winning gold — though the medal was more celebration, while the backflip was relief.

“Both were akin to skydiving, the level of fear. And then using my breath to reconnect to my senses and overcome those fears was very similar in the start gate in both Vancouver, Sochi and at the top of the run for the backflip.”

Now, Dueck’s role as chef de mission is to guide today’s generation of the athletes as it jumps from the proverbial plane into the Beijing Paralympics.

“[My job is to be] a champion, a cheerleader, and the one that helps them to define and set the mission and the vision for the entire team that’s going to represent Canada at the Games in Beijing,” Dueck said.

Already one year out, there’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2022 Paralympics. But that’s nothing new to Dueck.

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‘Artemis Fowl’: Josh Gad on Playing a Kleptomaniac Dwarf and Keeping Judi Dench ‘On Her Toes’ (Set Visit)

‘Artemis Fowl’: Josh Gad Interview on Playing a Mulch, Co-Star Judi Dench (Set Visit) | Entertainment Tonight

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Josh Gad Shares Video of Himself Crying to Let People Know It’s OK to be Emotional

Josh Gad Shares Video of Himself Crying to Let People Know It’s OK to be Emotional | Entertainment Tonight

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Josh Duhamel and Audra Mari Confirm Romance With Toronto Airport PDA: Pic!

Josh Duhamel and Audra Mari Confirm Romance With Toronto Airport PDA: Pic! | Entertainment Tonight

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Josh Donaldson has regrets about departure from Jays, makes 1st return since 2018 trade

Josh Donaldson didn’t want to let emotions dictate his response to the trade last September that capped his months-long, relationship-straining saga with the Toronto Blue Jays.

But nearly a year later, the 2015 AL MVP admitted he still has some regrets about how his tenure in Toronto ended.

The Blue Jays traded Donaldson to the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 1, 2018 after the star third baseman played just 36 games for Toronto due to injury.

Donaldson, who spent four years as a Blue Jay, returned to Toronto Tuesday with his new team — the Atlanta Braves — for the first time since being shipped off to Cleveland. 

“I think what probably nags at me the most is just kinda how my career finished here in Toronto, not even able to play at the time, trying to fight as hard as I could to get back,” Donaldson told a large group of reporters before Tuesday’s game.

WATCH | Blue Jays beat Atlanta in Donaldson’s return:

Toronto’s two runs in the first inning were enough in its 3-1 win over Atlanta. 1:31

Toronto won Tuesday’s game 3-1 and Donaldson went 0 for 4. 

‘It wasn’t working out’

“It wasn’t working out. And then how everything transpired was something that — it’s tough. At the end of the day you try to separate it as a business, but as a human being it can be tough. We do get frustrated and we do have other emotions that come about it.

“I’m very understanding of what’s going on. Even though things didn’t work out the way necessarily I wanted it to, I’m glad I was able to bounce back this year and I knew that I was capable of doing that.”

The Blue Jays honoured Donaldson with a video tribute before Tuesday’s first pitch, showcasing a montage of his big hits and defensive plays set to “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins — the song he famously used as his walk-up music.

Donaldson, who was on the field doing his pre-game warmup when the video began, tipped his cap to the crowd as he was showered with a loud standing ovation.

Donaldson said before the game that he wasn’t sure how he’d react to the planned tribute.

“It’s kinda hard to talk about what’s going to happen,” he said. “There’s definitely been some emotional times through my career here and to be able to see it on the video board, I’m sure it will be something that will bring some type of emotion out for sure.”

Donaldson had a monster first year with the Blue Jays, earning the 2015 AL MVP award — the first Toronto player to win the honour since George Bell in 1987 — after hitting .297 with 41 homers and 123 RBIs. He also had 41 doubles and a .568 slugging percentage to help Toronto end a 22-year playoff drought and reach the American League Championship Series before falling to the Kansas City Royals.

Josh Donaldson was traded to the Cleveland Indians last September after four years with the Toronto Blue Jays. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

He shone again in 2016 as Toronto made its second straight appearance in the ALCS, but injuries soon took a toll on him over the next two seasons, and the then-pending free agent’s trade value plummeted as he languished on the injured list through most of 2018.

With the Braves, however, Donaldson has been enjoying a renaissance season. He came into Tuesday’s game batting .262 with a .910 on-base-plus slugging percentage and 32 home runs.

He attributes his bounce-back year to two major things — a strict plant-based diet that he finds helps him deal with inflammation buildup, and his reunion with former Blue Jays head trainer George Poulis and assistant trainer Mike Frostad (now both on the Braves athletic staff), who worked with Donaldson in 2015 and 2016.

‘Sometime you have to learn through mistakes’

“They kept me on the field for a long time, 2015, 2016 I played 155 games every year,” Donaldson said. “Things started to change here in 2017 and ’18 and it might work for some guys and I hope that it does, it didn’t work for me.

“And sometimes you have to learn through mistakes and I’m fortunate to have gotten through that and continue to go out here and now help the Atlanta Braves win.”

The Braves, led by former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, signed Donaldson to a one-year deal in November.

With Atlanta sitting atop the NL East entering its two-game interleague series in Toronto this week, it looks as though Donaldson will be part of another strong World Series contender.

And while he’s happy to be contributing to the Braves’ playoff drive now, he still thinks about that 2015 run with the Blue Jays and what it did to the city of Toronto.

“That was one of the most special years I’ve been a part of,” Donaldson said. “The city was on fire, it was electric. To be able to be a part of that is special and it’s [something] you won’t ever forget.”

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Josh Lucas Says Reese Witherspoon Has to Give the Go-Ahead on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ Sequel (Exclusive)

Josh Lucas Says Reese Witherspoon Has to Give the Go-Ahead on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ Sequel (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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Josh Peck Welcomes First Child With Wife Paige O'Brien — See the Precious Pic!

Josh Peck is a dad! 

The former Nickeloden star welcomed his first child with wife Paige O’Brien, he announced on Instagram on Monday, alongside the first photo of the little one. The couple revealed they were expecting in August, just over a year after they tied the knot. 

Peck simply captioned the close-up of his son’s face with the bundle of joy’s name: “Max Milo Peck.” O’Brien, meanwhile, shared another shot of their baby boy to her Instagram, this time of him swaddled in a brown blanket, and sporting a white hat. The newborn stares up into the camera in the cute snap, which his mom also captioned with his name. 

ET spoke with Peck in August, when he revealed that his good friend and former Grandfathered co-star, John Stamos, had taught him a thing or two about fatherhood. 

“Stamos is already crushing fatherhood. No joke,” Peck raved of the actor, who is dad to young son Billy. “Can you imagine John Stamos changing a diaper? I mean, that baby is lucky. But his son, Billy, is gorgeous and if I can get anything quite like that, I’ll be overpaid.”

“He’s done this incredible, beautiful transition into being a dad,” he continued. “And I know that he wanted to have a kid for so long. So to watch him sort of flourish in that way has been a joy.”

See more — including what Peck had to say about making Stamos his child’s godfather — in the video below. 


Josh Peck Shares What John Stamos Has Taught Him About Fatherhood (Exclusive)

Josh Peck and Wife Paige O'Brien Expecting First Child

John Stamos & Josh Peck Act Out 'Grey's Anatomy' Scene During Children's Hospital Visit — Watch!

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Debby Ryan Got Engaged To Boyfriend Josh Dun — See the Photos!

Debby Ryan is getting hitched!

On Saturday, the Insatiable star revealed on Twitter that her and Twenty One Pilots’ Josh Dun got engaged with a series of touching photos of the magic moment, including her big, new sparkler.

“I said yes!” she captioned the images. “Well technically I said ‘NO WAY’ twice but I meant yes.”

In the photos, the 25-year-old TV star looks understandably shocked as he pops the question. In other images, the TV star breaks down in tears after accepting his proposal. She chose a flowing black dress covered in flowers for the occasion. As for Dun, he wore an all-black ensemble to get down on one knee. The engagement took place in a truly unique wooden structure surrounded by forest.

The drummer also posted images, offering another look at the special moment’s unique locale — a big round treehouse!

“I found a tree house in the woods in New Zealand and proposed to my girl,” he captioned the photos. “She my dude for life. I love you Debby.”

The couple starting dating in 2013, but have been on-and-off since. Then, in August of this year, Ryan confirmed to The Sydney Morning Herald that she and Dun were once again an item.

“I’m in love and very happy,” she said. “We’ve evolved and grown so much in our careers, in the relationship, as people since we first met. It’s cool and special to have that support system and we are each other’s biggest fans.”

Get more breaking news in the clip below.


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Josh Brolin and Wife Kathryn Welcome First Child Together

Josh Brolin is a dad for the third time.

The 50-year-old actor and his wife, Kathryn, have welcomed their first child together, a baby girl, he announced on Instagram on Sunday. The couple has decided to name their daughter Westlyn Reign. 

“Dearest Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce our little girl Westlyn Reign Brolin (Bean),” Brolin wrote alongside a video of the adorable newborn sleeping. “Mama Kathryn was stellar during this miracle birth and Bean is a flawless gem through and through. We are blessed to the core and appreciate so much the love and support during this pregnancy from ALL who have partaken in our journey, directly and/or indirectly. ❤️❤️🍼🏋🏻‍♀️🍀 #beanlove.”

The couple announced they were expecting a child together in May. Brolin is already a dad to his two children, 24-year-old Eden and 30-year-old Trevor, from his first marriage to Alice Adair. He was also previously married to actress Diane Lane, though they divorced in 2013 after nine years of marriage.

Kathryn, 31, recently shared a picture of the two kissing, also showing off her sizable baby bump.

“Happy 40 weeks my love @joshbrolin,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, Brolin recently shared a giggling video of the two, in which she jokes that she’s “still huge.”

ET spoke to the actor in June at the Sicario: Day of the Soldado premiere, when he said he was definitely excited to be a dad again.

“I’m always excited about kids,” he said. “I prefer being around kids. You know, they have the imagination. They’re fun. I’ve heard other people be like, ‘Kid’s sitting there, he’s staring at nothing, he’s slobbering, like, what’s the point?’ The point is to sit there and slobber with him. That’s the point.” 

“The kid has a great Jewish grandmother and she’s appropriately manifesting like she should,” Brolin said of Barbra Streisand, who’s married to his dad, James Brolin. “She’s into it, she calls every day, she follows the app. It’s amazing. Look, it could’ve been the opposite and it’s not, so we love that people are involved, family’s involved, friends are involved. It’s a good thing.” 

ET also spoke to Brolin last October while he was promoting Only the Brave, when he opened up about how he knew Kathryn, his former assistant, was the one. The two tied the knot in September 2016 after three years of dating.

“You go through enough relationships where you’re trying to figure it out, what does this mean, why am I so confused?” he shared. “And then suddenly you’re not confused. It’s something to celebrate.”

Watch below:


Josh Brolin Says He's 'Appropriately Nervous' About Becoming a Dad for a 3rd Time (Exclusive)

Josh Brolin Addresses Domestic Abuse Arrest While Married to Diane Lane

Josh Brolin Announces Wife Kathryn Is Pregnant, Expecting First Child Together

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Josh Donaldson says leaving Jays is 'difficult to the extreme'

Josh Donaldson admits it's tough to say goodbye to the Toronto Blue Jays.

“It’s … been difficult to the extreme that I am leaving an organization that I was very much a big part of,” the new Cleveland Indians third baseman said Sunday in an introductory press conference after a trade on Friday.

"I had some quality years there that I'm not going to forget. But I'm also looking forward to trying to help this team win and moving forward as well."

Watch the full press conference:

Watch the full press conference as Josh Donaldson meets with the press in Cleveland. 7:44

The Blue Jays dealt the 2015 AL MVP to the Indians for a player to be named later, continuing a rebuild process that has seen the team cut ties with some of its biggest stars from the 2015-16 playoff squads.

Donaldson has been out of the Blue Jays lineup since late May, dealing with a nagging calf injury. He played in a rehab game with single-A Dunedin on Tuesday, allowing the Blue Jays to place Donaldson on waivers and trade him prior to Friday's deadline for players to become eligible to join a post-season roster.

"If I was writing a book, it's not how I would have wanted it to go, but hopefully it has a happy ending," said Donaldson, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

Reunited with Encarnacion

Donaldson did not provide a timeline for his return, but seemed to indicate he won't be out too much longer.

"I feel very good about where I'm at right now," said Donaldson, who took batting practice and worked out with the Indians before Sunday's game. "I'd rather not talk about it. I'd rather you just be able to see it and make a judgement for yourself."

In Cleveland, Donaldson reunites with former Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion. The two were seen talking in the dugout after Donaldson arrived Saturday night.

"We had a lot of fond memories together as teammates … I'm sure if you asked him as well, we're excited about creating some new ones," Donaldson said.

While the ending in Toronto was anything but perfect, Donaldson said he's happy to be in Cleveland.

"I was excited because of the players you have in this clubhouse and how they've been able to have success throughout the years," he said. "I'm also excited [because] if you probably go look back at my numbers in this ballpark, they're pretty nice. I'm glad I'm going into a situation where I've had success before."

Addition causes some uncertainty

The 32-year-old Donaldson batted .234 with five home runs and 16 RBIs this season for the Blue Jays. He hasn't played since May 28 because of the calf injury. He also was out from April 11-May 2 with a shoulder problem.

Donaldson's addition will cause position changes. Jose Ramirez will move from third to second and Jason Kipnis, the starting second baseman, will begin taking fly balls in centre field.

Antonetti acknowledged the situation will lead to uncertainty, especially since it isn't clear when Donaldson will be ready.

"They're obviously tied together," he said. "All three guys with Kip, Josh and Jose. All of their plans are interdependent. Once we have an idea what Josh's plan will be, that will inform our conversations with Jason and Jose."

The Indians begin a four-game series in Toronto on Thursday.

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