Author Archives: Brian Chick

Author Archives: Brian Chick

Canada downs Korea to win bronze at Paralympics

Canada celebrated with friends and family following their bronze medal win (photo: Brian Chick - Curling Canada)
March 17, 2018

After yesterday’s heartbreaking semifinal loss, a fourth consecutive gold medal was out of the question for Canada. But was was still on the table was the prospect of a podium finish and a Paralympic medal. The Canadian wheelchair curling team won that bronze medal, defeating South Korea in a fairly one-sided match. Canada took two in the first, never looked back, and the Canadian team will stand on the podium for the fourth straight Paralympic games. “I’m super proud,” said skip Mark Ideson (London, Ont.). “We put ourselves in a position to defend gold, and we played our hearts out ...

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Canada loses heartbreaker in semifinal, will play for bronze

March 16, 2018

Nobody likes to lose, especially elite athletes playing at world class competitions with medals on the line.  You could forgive Canadian skip Mark Ideson if he was angry, bitter, heartbroken or a bit crusty following a last rock loss to China in the semi-final of the Paralympic medal round in wheelchair curling.  But, following the game that’s not the emotion he showed. “You know what? I am proud,” he said minutes after Chinese skip Haitao Wang made a remarkable tap to the button with the last shot of the game. “I’m really proud of the way that the team played… We ...

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Canada Advances to Playoffs After Victory Over Finland

March 15, 2018

The Paralympic playoff picture became a little bit clearer on Thursday as Canada completed yet another comeback victory vs. Finland.  With the win, Canada finished the round-robin at 9-2, which will be tied for first with South Korea, and also China. The Koreans will have the tiebreaker based on the head-to-head results. “We’re definitely happy,” said skip Mark Ideson. “If someone said we’d be 9-2 at the end of the week, we have taken it for sure.”  In what has become typical fashion for Team Canada, they started the game by getting down a few points before battling back in ...

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Paralympic Blog: Marie Wright Checks In From Pyeongchang

March 15, 2018

Hello Canada, We’re about halfway through the games and things are going well for Canada. We’re 6-2 and playing well. While we have a few minutes between games, I just wanted to get you up to speed on what life is like in Pyeongchang for a Paralympian. We moved into the athletes’ village last week after a few days training in Incheon. Everything was amazing. We really didn’t know what to expect. We thought it might be cramped or small, but the rooms are all a good size, there’s a rec room for the athletes. You can play games or ...

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Canada qualifies for playoffs at Paralympics

March 15, 2018

Canada’s wheelchair curling team knew that defending a gold medal for the third time wasn’t going to be easy; nor was it going to be quick. The team constantly referred to the 11-game round robin as a marathon, and they were going to take it one mile at a time. With a 6-2 win over Germany, the Paralympians must feel that they’ve passed a major milestone by officially qualifying for the medal round. “It feels great,” said skip Mark Ideson (London, Ont.). “ It’s been a really long week. It feels like everyone is tired. We had a quick turn ...

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Alternate Anseeuw Gets A Chance in Win Vs. Slovakia

March 14, 2018

58 year-old Jamie Anseeuw has spent every game this week watching from the bench, while his teammates battled it out on the Paralympic ice. He’d take times, watch rocks, and take notes on every shot as part of his role as alternate, and he has to be ready to play with a moment’s notice if a player goes down with illness or injury. Since entire tournaments can go by without that happening, it’s standard practice to get your alternate into the game if the scoreboard becomes lopsided one way or the other. “I was excited to get out there,” said ...

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Canadians down NPA in Dramatic Fashion at Paralympics

Canada faces Neutral Paralympic Athletes in 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang - Photo: Brian Chick/Curling Canada
March 14, 2018

It was as though they were making it dramatic for the TV audience. Last end. Skips’ rocks. One for sure, and a measure for two and the win. The measuring stick doesn’t function properly. They have to get the other one from the far end of the sheet, delaying the result further. Talk about drama! Drama for the fans at least. For the players, it was pretty obvious. “I was pretty confident, and the NPA third looked at it and shook his head,” said Canadian third Ina Forrest of the delayed measurement. “So I was pretty sure he saw it ...

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Canada wins extra-end Paralympic Nailbiter vs. USA

March 13, 2018

“It was a fun game.” That’s how Canadian skip Mark Ideson summed up his team’s 6-5, extra-end victory or the United States on Tuesday night. “They’re great people and there’s a lot of camaraderie out there,” said Ideson of his American opponents. “We have a lot of respect for them. They’re good players, and good people.” Ideson and Team Canada were probably the only ones having fun, as the rest of the Canadian supporters were chewing their fingernails off. Again, Canada got down early, this time falling behind 3-0 after two ends. Just as in their morning win over China, ...

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Canada complete comeback win over China

March 13, 2018

Canada might have to start calling their Paralympic wheelchair curling team the “Comeback Kids.”  That might be confusing for their actual kids, and in some cases their grandkids. Regardless of the nickname, the Canadians erased a four-point deficit for the second time this week, this time coming back from 5-1 to beat China, 8-5. “I’m really proud of the team,” said skip Mark Ideson. “We got down early… again. That seems to be a bit of a theme for us, myself in particular with a slow start. But they pick me up and carried me through. “ Indeed, Ideson wasn’t ...

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Canada on the wrong side of the inch vs. Great Britain

Canada didn't have an answer for Great Britain - Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 © WCF / Céline Stucki
March 12, 2018

Elite athletes live for the feeling of being in “the zone” – the sensation where your peak performance is on auto-pilot, every result is perfect, and you can’t miss. For Canada’s wheelchair curlers, it must have felt like they were just a few inches outside of “the zone.” “You know, some days you’re one with the rock. Other days, it’s like your two completely different entities,” said Ina Forrest, who throws third on Canada’s Paralympic team. “We just didn’t have the zen of curling today.” Indeed, something seemed a little off as Canada dropped their second game of the day; ...

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Canada Suffers First Loss of Paralympics

March 12, 2018

Sometimes it’s just not your game. Canada’s wheelchair curlers found that out the hard way this morning, suffering their first loss of the Paralympics to host South Korea. The Koreans scored three in the first, and shut down every Canadian attack after that, finishing with a final score of 7-5. “Korea was going well both with their hits and their draws,” said Marie Wright (Moose Jaw, Sask.), who is playing in her first Paralympics at the age of 57. “It felt like we’d get something set up, and then do one thing wrong, and they would capitalize.” Indeed, according to ...

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Canadian Paralympians Fight Back to Beat Sweden

Pyeongchang, Korea, 11/3/2018-Canada plays Sweden in Wheelchair curling during the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang. Photo Scott Grant/Canadian Paralympic Committee.
March 11, 2018

It wasn’t the start they wanted, but as the old saying goes, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”   Canada looked pretty shaky in the opening ends of their third game of the 2018 Paralympic Games. The wheelchair curling team just couldn’t get comfortable.   “We just weren’t making our shots,” said Dennis Thiessen (Sanford, Man.), playing in his second Paralympics. “We let it slip with a couple of mistakes. so they got the lead on us early.”   After giving up steals of one and three in the first two ends, the tide suddenly turned for ...

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Wheelchair Curlers Start Paralympics Perfect

March 10, 2018

If you were going to ask Canadian skip Mark Ideson who the favourites in wheelchair curling are at this year’s Paralympic Games, he’d tell you Norway won the world championship, and Russia won the two before that, and that the USA is playing really well lately. He certainly wouldn’t put Canada on the list, even though they’ve won the last three Paralympic gold medals. Based on Ideson’s modest prognosis, you’d expect for a Canada-Norway game to be lopsided. And it was, but not in the way his handicapping would suggest. Instead, Canada beat Norway 10-1 in six ends (they conceded ...

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Paralympic Curlers Strong Out of the Gate

Gangneung Curling Centre. The Paralympic Winter Games, PyeongChang, South Korea, Thursday 8th March 2018. Photo: Joel Marklund for OIS/IOC. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC
March 10, 2018

The Canadian Wheelchair Curling team is treating the 2018 Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea like a marathon. It won’t be won or lost on day one, and it will take a consistent effort over the 11-game round robin to set them up for a sprint to the finish line. While there is still a lot of curling to be played, they couldn’t be happier with their results out of the gate. In their first game on this Paralympic marathon, Canada defeated Switzerland 8-0, with the Swiss conceding after the sixth end. “We’re pretty happy with that start,” said third ...

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Paralympic Blog: Getting Settled in Korea

Marie Wright pracitces in Korea while coach Wayne Kiel looks on. Photo by Brian Chick (Curling Canada)
March 8, 2018

Hello from South Korea, We’re just a day away from the Opening Ceremonies for the 2018 Paralympics. The wheelchair curling team (five athletes, and six support staff) have spent the last few days in Incheon (a suburb of Seoul) acclimating to the time difference, getting on the proper sleep cycles, and of course practicing. Five of us flew direct from Toronto, while the other six flew from Vancouver. Fortunately, the flights landed only an hour apart, and we were able to gather our bags, our gear, and find our transportation. One thing that should never be underestimated… travelling for any ...

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