Canada looks to make leap at wheelchair curling world championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

February 27, 2020

''You can’t take any team lightly''

2019 curlingworlds Ideson

WETZIKON, Switzerland – Mark Ideson, the skip for Canada’s wheelchair curling team, admits a strong start at the world championships which begin on Saturday is an important strategy to get the squad back in the medal hunt.

Last year in Scotland, the Canadians opened with four straight losses, then rallied to win five of their next seven but it wasn’t enough to gain a spot in the playoff round. The 2018 Paralympic Games bronze medallists finished a shocking 10th and were forced to re-qualify for the worlds this past December at a tournament in Finland which they won.

‘’Getting off to that start last year really hurt us,’’ said Ideson after Thursday’s practice. ‘’The level of play at the worlds has really risen over the last few years and you can’t take any team lightly. We’ll have to keep our quality of play strong throughout the tournament.’’

Joining Ideson, from London, Ont., are Jon Thurston of Dunsford, Ont., Ina Forrest of Armstrong, B.C., Dennis Thiessen of Sanford, Man., and alternate Collinda Joseph of Stittsville, Ont. They play their opening game on Saturday against Slovakia at 8 a.m. (all times Eastern) at the Curling Hall Wetzikon.

Ideson, Forrest and Thiessen were all members of the Canadian team that won bronze at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang and the 2013 team that won the world title.
Canada will play an 11-game round-robin, with the top six teams from the 12-team field making the playoffs.

The first and second-place teams will go straight to the semifinals, while No. 6 plays No. 3, and No. 5 plays No. 4 in the qualification round.

The qualification round and semifinals are on Friday March 6, with the bronze and gold-medal games on Saturday March 7.

‘’This is a big tournament for us about gaining some confidence back,’’ said Thurston, who’ll throw last stone. ‘’It’s a statement event for us and we have some momentum going after our win in Finland and some good training going in.’’

Defending champion China will enter the 2020 worlds as the top-ranked country in the World Curling Federation’s wheelchair curling rankings. Canada will enter the world championships ranked sixth.

The 2020 World Wheelchair Curling Championships also will give countries the chance to gain qualifying points to earn a place in the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing. The combined results from the 2019, 2020 and 2021 (in Beijing) world championships will determine the 11 countries that will join host China in the Paralympic field.

Team Canada is coached Wayne Kiel of Balgonie, Sask., with assistant coach Mick Lizmore of Edmonton

For more information about the 2020 World Wheelchair Curling Championships, including schedules and team lineups, go to


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