By Sheridan Block
Going for the gold, local adaptive snowboarder Heidi Jo Duce will make her Paralympic debut in Sochi on Friday, Mar. 14, competing in the first-ever snowboard cross event at the games.
Growing up in Ouray, Duce, an amputee below the knee, has been snowboarding and participating in other outdoor sports since she was young. However, it wasn’t until early 2013 that Duce began to practice snowboarding as a worldwide competitor. She made her debut at the first para-snowboard cross World Cup in Maribor, Slovenia, last March and went on to win gold at the U.S. Snowboard Cross National Championship that same year. Currently, Duce is ranked second in the world and, despite a serious shoulder injury in November, was able to make a quick recovery and secure a spot on the national team.