Ready for Paralympics!
Canada’s Wheelchair curlers ready for Paralympic Games
The podium quest has begun for Canada’s wheelchair curlers.
Earlier this week, nearly 100 members of Canada’s Paralympic contingent landed in Beijing. This included five wheelchair curlers, and six of the team’s support staff. They’re spending their time adjusting to Beijing’s timezone, exploring the Olympic Village, but mostly chomping at the bit to get the competition started.
After spending two weeks in Vancouver at a staging and training camp, the team is ready to fight for a spot on the podium – a goal Canadian teams have never missed since the sport debuted at the 2006 Torino Games. Other than a bronze medal in 2018, Canada has won gold at every other Paralympic competition.
Beginning on Thursday, the team will have access to practice ice at the National Aquatics Centre, the same venue that was used for the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, and the recent Winter Olympic curling events just a few weeks ago.
Once practices have been completed, and the Opening Ceremonies’ fireworks have extinguished, the curlers will begin a gruelling 11-game round robin over six days, followed by a medal round featuring the top four teams. As with the Olympics, the Paralympic curlers will play a semifinal, with winners going on to play for gold, and losers battling it out for bronze.
With three returning Paralympic medallists – Ina Forrest (Armstrong, B.C.), Dennis Thiessen (Crystal City, Man.), and Mark Ideson (London, Ont.) – Team Canada is aiming to be in the playoff mix at the end of the week. First-time Paralympians Jon Thurston (Dunsford, Ont.) and Collinda Joseph (Ottawa) have played three world championship events with the team, and will round out the squad in Beijing.
Forrest is one of the world’s most decorated Paralympic curlers, winning gold in 2010 and 2014. She also won bronze in 2018. Thiessen and Ideson have were both part of the 2014 and 2018 efforts.
Canada will begin its Paralympic tournament against China, the reigning Paralympic gold-medallist – and the only team other than Canada to win gold in the history of this event. The Chinese have also won two recent world championships.
Canada’s schedule is as follows (all times Eastern):
- Saturday, March 5 – 1:35 a.m. – vs. China
- Saturday, March 5 – 6:35 a.m. – vs. Switzerland
- Sunday, March 6 – 1:35 a.m. – vs. Latvia
- Sunday, March 6 – 8:35 p.m. – vs. United States
- Monday, March 7 – 6:35 a.m. – vs. Sweden
- Monday, March 7 – 8:35 p.m. – vs. Korea
- Tuesday, March 8 – 6:35 a.m. – vs. Slovakia
- Wednesday, March 9 – 1:35 a.m. – vs. Great Britain
- Wednesday, March 9 – 6:35 a.m. – vs. Estonia
- Wednesday, March 9 – 8:35 p.m. – vs. Norway
- Friday, March 11 – Semifinal (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3) – 1:35 am
- Friday, March 11 – Bronze Medal Game – 6:35 am
- Saturday, March 12 – Gold Medal Game – 1:35 am
For rosters, scores, and more information on the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games, please visit: https://worldcurling.org/events/pwg2022
Canada’s games will be carried on a number of platforms by CBC. For broadcast and streaming schedules, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/sports/paralympics