Busy post-Paralympic Games season ahead for Canadian winter athletes

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 01, 2018

All five winter sports have world championships this season


OTTAWA – It was just last March that Canada won a record 28 medals to place second overall at the Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. 

Many of those Canadian medallists, including record breaker Mark Arendz in Para nordic skiing, Mollie Jepsen in Para alpine and Liam Hickey in Para ice hockey, are back on their respective ice and snow fields of play with world titles on their minds for 2018-19.

In fact all five sports at the Paralympic Winter Games have world championships this season. As is the case with most post-Games years, there is a good chance new stars will emerge while familiar faces return to send a message they’ll be difficult to knock off the national team.

One of those world championships will be hosted in Canada. The Para nordic skiing worlds are set for Prince George, B.C. from February 15-24, 2019. Para nordic was Canada’s best sport in its record medal haul in PyeongChang with 16 medals. 

Here is a brief summary of this winter’s major events for our winter Para athletes:

December 2-8, 2018: Para ice hockey, Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup, London, Ont.

The rebranded Canadian Tire Para Hockey Cup will feature all three medallists from the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (USA, Canada and South Korea) at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ont. Two members of Canada’s 2018-19 national para ice hockey team – James Dunn and Tyler McGregor – have close ties to London: Dunn and McGregor first met while being treated for cancer in the city. Fans would love nothing more than to see the first Canada-USA rematch since the Americans beat the Canadians at the Games in overtime in a classic gold medal final.
Event website

January 21 – February 1, 2019: Para alpine, world championships, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia and Sella Nevea, Italy

Canada is set with a powerhouse team in Para alpine skiing for 2018-19 which augurs well for the upcoming season. The big change is with visually impaired skier Mac Marcoux of Sault Ste Marie, Ont., who has a new guide in Tristan Rodgers of Ottawa. Along with Marcoux, Alana Ramsay and Kurt Oatway of Calgary, Alexis Guimond of Gatineau, and Mollie Jepsen of Whistler return all with at least one 2018 Paralympic Games medal around their necks. The worlds take place in the midst of a seven-stop World Cup season.
Event website 

February 15-24, 2019: Para nordic, world championships, Prince George, B.C.

Prince George will host approximately 140 athletes from 20 nations at the end of February. With Mark Arendz of Hartsville, PEI and Brian McKeever of Canmore, the individual Winter Games and overall Winter Games medal record holders for Canada, it should be a fruitful event for the hosts. Emerging talents like Natalie Wilkie of Salmon Arm, B.C., and Collin Cameron of Sudbury made Canada a powerhouse in the sport with their multiple medal performances in PyeongChang. Along with the worlds, there is a three-stop World Cup circuit this season. 
Event website  

March 3-10, 2019: wheelchair curling, world championships, Stirling, Scotland

Less than a month ago, Canada travelled to Stirling for a test event for the worlds and won the gold medal. Mark Ideson of London skipped Canada to victory along with Ina Forrest of Armstrong, B.C., Dennis Thiessen of Sanford, Man., Jamie Anseeuw of Winnipeg, and Collinda Joseph of Stittsville, Ont. at the 12-country tournament. Ideson, Forrest, Thiessen and Anseeuw were part of Canada’s bronze medal-winning squad at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

Event website

March 25-April 1, 2019: Para snowboard, world championships, Pyha, Finland

A hundred of the best riders in the world are anticipated to compete at the biggest Para snowboard event of the season. Canada expects John Leslie of Arnprior, Ont., and Sandrine Hamel of St-Sauveur, Que., to be its top riders this season. Big White, B.C., also hosts a World Cup event from February 4-7 as one of six stops on the circuit.
Event website

April 27-May 4, 2019: Para ice hockey: world championships, Ostrava, Czech Republic

The USA defeated Canada in a thrilling gold-medal match at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. Both countries dominated the tournament so these worlds will be a benchmark to see if other national teams have gained ground on the superpowers. Canada has nine returning players from the PyeongChang team including goaltender Dominic Larocque of Quebec City, Liam Hickey of St. John’s N.L. – who has switched from forward to defence – and veteran scoring star Billy Bridges of Summerside, PEI.
Event website: TBA

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