Defining a winner!

Team Ontario 1 (Photo, Curling Canada/ Jean Doyon)

Ontario 1 second Karl Allen offers perspective on what winning really is

Team Ontario 1 won their opening game versus Team Nova Scotia at the 2023 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship, but for Team Ontario’s second Karl Allen, being able to compete at this championship is winning in itself. 

Allen shares on the recent life changes that have occured. “My life changed in many ways since 2020, including a double amputation of my legs below the knees, all while dealing with kidney failure dialysis, which was brought on from juvenile diabetes,” explains Allen.

Since Allen’s double amputation, he has made great progress in learning to work and walk with prosthetic legs, as well as learning more about how to manage new life in a wheelchair. 

In dealing with kidney failure, Allen was needing dialysis 3 days per week. “I could only dream of going away for an overnight or even on a trip” says Allen. But luckily, in July 2022, Allen got the news he was waiting for: he was receiving a kidney transplant. 

His recovery was going great when he decided to email Carl Rennick and Jon Thurston (skip of Team Ontario) and told them the good news about his successful kidney transplant, and about his goal to focus on curling the next season at a competitive level. 

“In less than 6 months after my transplant I am part of a team that is representing Ontario at the National Wheelchair Championships. I have met some amazing people and made some great friends. I hope my journey will give everyone with kidney disease and for those waiting on a transplant list hope for their future and that they can overcome and achieve anything.”

Pool A action was also in full effect this afternoon as team Team Ontario #2 (Grose) beat New Brunswick (Fitzgerald) 7-2. Northern Ontario (Dean) steals the win against Team Saskatchewan (Dash) in an extra end. Alberta #2 (Kuchelyma) won over Team British Columbia (Austgarden) with the final score of 18-2. 

In Pool B, Quebec (Lessard) defeated team Saskatchewan #2 (Pederson) with a steal of 2 in the last end and a final score of 6-5. Team Alberta (Smart) stole the win in an extra end against Team Newfoundland & Labrador (Carroll). 

The 2023 Wheelchair Nationals continues tomorrow in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan with draws at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (all time CST). 

Live scoring and standings for the 2023 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships are available at

Streaming of this event can be found at

Curling Canada