Roy Duquette was born in Seoul, South Korea and experienced early life as a military brat, growing up on an Air Force base in a multi-generational military family. His father was a fighter pilot for the South Korean Air Force and a predetermined fate already woven into his DNA was to one day follow in his father’s footsteps.

On September 1st, 1983, an international incident in which a Soviet fighter jet shot down a Korean Airlines 747 carrying 269 passengers dominated the headlines all over the world.  Among those who lost their lives was Roy’s uncle — one of the pilots on that plane.

This catastrophic event shook the foundation of global politics, threatening to further stoke the flames of a pending Cold War while talks of World War 3 grew louder in the mainstream media. In an attempt to relieve the media burden off his aunt living in Vancouver, an emergency family meeting was called by another one of Roy’s uncles from Tokyo, Japan. Wanting to avoid conscription for her only son during a time of growing geopolitical tension, Roy’s mother made the decision to move to Canada permanently for a chance at a peaceful life.

As a student, Roy excelled in academics, music, and athletics, winning countless awards as a stand out point guard for his senior high-school basketball team. In addition to being one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in the province, Roy was widely known for his muscular physique — developed through countless hours of training in the weight room at Spartacus Gym in East Vancouver. 

After graduating, Roy returned to Spartacus three years later, and would go on to become the gym’s most successful personal trainer of all time. For four years from 1998 to 2002 while working for Spartacus, Roy wore many hats — manning the front desk of the gym, teaching group fitness classes, and running an after-hours martial arts program in addition to maintaining his thriving personal training practice. The mission at the time was to develop a thorough understanding of how to  operate a gym, setting the groundwork for what eventually would be his own training facility.

In 2002, Roy officially left his position at Spartacus Gym to start his own company, Duquette Strength and Development. Duquette Strength, with three separate divisions — a multidisciplinary therapeutic fitness clinic, a high-performance training center, and a professional development branch — was far ahead of its time, combining passive therapies like chiropractic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and massage therapy with personal training programs emphasizing postural reprogramming and active-rehabilitation.

Between the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Roy was an active competitor in several martial arts including Pankration, Russian Sambo, Submission Grappling, Mixed Martial Arts, and Muay Thai kickboxing —accumulating 21 total victories as an amateur and going undefeated in four professional fights before a tragic injury derailed his fighting career. Always one to turn adversity into opportunity, Roy quickly parlayed his experiences as an athlete to becoming a well-respected coach and trainer to his students — aiming to build champions as opposed to becoming one himself. In 2023, Roy was awarded his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by his former student Emily Kwok, a legendary women’s Jiu Jitsu competitor and multiple time world champion.

In a multi-faceted career as a fitness professional that spans four decades and over 36,000 sessions performed, Roy is widely regarded as one of the most experienced athletic trainers in all of Canada. Roy’s career as an athletic trainer has brought him all over the world — headlining multiple international  fitness expos as well as making numerous cameo appearances in TV shows such as The L Word and Travellers. As a well-respected high-performance coach, Roy has worked with senior executive leaders from several of Canada’s top 50 companies.

Roy’s personal story has seen him progress from part-time personal trainer to gym owner to successful entrepreneur. He is the perfect embodiment of overcoming adversity and working your way to the top, continuing to add to his on-going legacy as head coach and trainer at Spartacus Gym.