Dennis Thiessen added the title Paralympic curling champion to his resume in 2014 as he helped Canada to gold in Sochi. A wheelchair curler since 2005, he showed a steady progression in his skill level which earned him a berth on Team Canada in 2012 after an extensive two-year tryout process. He is a former national wheelchair curling champion (2011 and 2013) and helped Team Canada win the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championships, also held in Sochi, Russia.
Team Canada’s vice-skip gets his inspiration to compete from a variety of sources including another well-known Manitoba athlete, Cindy Klassen. He calls Klassen the ultimate professional and a great representative of Canada and has always enjoyed listening to her interviews and motivation messages.
Thiessen 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.
He lost his leg in an accident on his family’s farm when he was seventeen years old.
2014 Paralympic Games champion… 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Champion… 2011 Canadian National Wheelchair Curling Champion… 2008, 2009, 2010 Canadian National Wheelchair Curling Bronze Medallist.
Canada won gold at the 2014, 2010 and 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.
FAMILY: Thiessen is married to Helene and has two children, Mike (24 years) and Katrina (17 years), and daughter-in-law Rachael.
GETTING INTO THE SPORT: In 2005, Thiessen was asked by a friend to give wheelchair curling a try. Being familiar with curling as an able-bodied athlete, he couldn’t understand how someone could throw a rock down the ice while sitting in a wheelchair. And now, he is throwing consistently alongside the best in the world.
ODDS AND ENDS: Thiessen says he likes to be early for everything and he’s extremely stubborn. He is a fan of country music and if invited for lunch by any performer it would have to be Shania Twain.
|2014 Sochi Paralympics||Wheelchair Curling||Wheelchair Curling - Mixed||gold|
2014 Sochi Paralympics
Wheelchair Curling - Mixed