Dennis Thiessen has earned medals at four consecutive Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships, but naturally it’s the 2011 event that stands out.
Playing with Team Manitoba, Dennis won bronze medals in 2008, 2009 and 2010. At the 2011 championship in Edmonton, Dennis, at third, with teammates Chris Sobkowicz (skip), Melissa Lecuyer (second), George Hornning (lead), and Don Kalinsky (fifth) defeated Team Alberta 8-7 in the final to capture the gold medal.
Thiessen curls out of the Assiniboine Curling Club in Winnipeg and helps mentor new wheelchair curlers – when he’s not training with Team Manitoba.
A native of Crystal City, Manitoba, Dennis is proud of his off-ice accomplishments as well: he was instrumental in starting the provincial branch of Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities, an organization dedicated to presenting farm safety programs to children, youth and adults.
Birthplace: Crystal City, MB
Hometown: Crystal City, MB
Curling Club: Assiniboine Curling Club
Current Team: Team Manitoba
Quick Hits with Dennis Thiessen
Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
If you could be a star in any other sport, what would it be, and why?
Hockey!! Because I used to play a lot before I had my accident.
If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
Sweeping in the house (for wheelchair curling.) This would make it more interesting for both the fans and the players.
What music do you like to listen to before a game?
Country because it relaxes and calms me down.
… Website? Wheelchaircurling.com
… Order from Tim Hortons? Berry yogurt and apple juice
… Vacation destination? Los Cabos, Mexico
… Junk food? All dressed chips! Yum!
Do you have any pet peeves?
People who are late…ask anyone, I’m always the first one there.
Three things you always travel with?
Shaver, my stuffed animal, clean underwear.
First thing on your Bucket List
Meet (country music star) Miranda Lambert
Favorite pastime between draws at spiels? Cards (which game?), TV, napping?
Relax and focus on my next game, and have a few laughs with my team.
One thing most people don’t know about you?
I love to cook.
What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
That they’re unfit, and you don’t need to train to be a great curler.
Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
Hit and stick. Plain and simple.