Canadian pair embarks on wheelchair curling mystery at world mixed doubles championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

April 28, 2022

Marie Wright and Jamie Anseeuw to represent Canada at inaugural tournament


Don’t be surprised to see Marie Wright and Jamie Anseeuw produce a conservative game, particularly at the start of the tournament, at the inaugural World Wheelchair Mixed Doubles Curling Championships set for April 30 to May 5 in Lohja, Finland.

Mixed doubles will be added to the program for the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games in Milan, so this first edition of the worlds is an exciting glimpse into the new discipline, with results hard to predict. An impressive number of entries – 18 countries – will be in attendance. 

“Mixed doubles is going to be a great addition to wheelchair curling,” said Canadian team leader Wayne Kiel. “We are proud to be part of this journey.”

Paralympians Wright, 61, and Anseeuw, 62, have been training hard for this event since the beginning of the month in Winnipeg. They were both members of the Canadian squad that won bronze at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and have remained in the national team selection pool.

“With being able to practice together it has given us the opportunity to read each other’s rock and see how we throw each other’s rocks so that’s going to help,” said Wright, from Moose Jaw, Sask. who has paraplegia as the result of a 1988 motor vehicle accident. 

“Some of the European teams have been doing mixed doubles for a while over there so I think we’ll come up against some pretty good teams. We’ll have to play strong.” 

Head coach Dana Ferguson of Edmonton is making her debut at the helm of a national team. A mixed doubles player herself, her game plan appears to be cautious in the early going as they unravel the mystery of the sport and their opponents at the international level.

“The players in able-bodied mixed doubles haven’t mastered the game yet, so every day we are training and talking to best use the tools to our advantage,” said Ferguson. Mixed doubles was introduced at the Olympic Games in 2018. “We can’t bank on others, we have to make that first shot and do our best to get hammer. We know to stick to things we can control.”

Winnipeg’s Anseeuw, who was injured in a snowmobile accident in 1999, says there is pressure being a member of Team Canada in a new curling event.

“This is the first mixed worlds, so there is no pecking order so it’s difficult to set expectations,” he said. “Yet on the other hand the whole country is waiting to see how we come out of it. There’s a bit of pressure there but I think it’s good pressure. We’re a solid team from a solid country. Marie and I expect good things.”

Wright told Moose Jaw Today the ice could also be a factor in Finland. 

“I’ve even been to Finland a couple of times, so I know (the ice is) going to be a lot different than anything we see here,” she said. “We’ve been trying to work on that, practice on a little bit slower ice and a little bit swingier ice, and with mixed doubles, it’s more of draw game than anything else and you have to know that kind of game really well.”

Canada will compete in Group B and opens round robin play on April 30 with matches against Latvia and Germany. The other teams in its group are Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Slovakia, Turkey, and the United States. Group A is comprised of Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Scotland, Switzerland, and Sweden.

The round robin continues until May 4. The semifinals and final are on May 5.

Round-Robin Schedule 
All listed times local to Finland 

Saturday April 30 
1 p.m. local – Canada vs. Latvia 
8 p.m. local – Canada vs. Germany 

Sunday May 1 
1 p.m. local – Canada vs. Slovakia 

Monday May 2 
9:30 a.m. local – Canada vs. USA
4:30 p.m. local – Canada vs. Norway 

Tuesday May 3
9:30 a.m. local – Canada vs. Turkey 
4:30 p.m. local – Canada vs. Czech Republic 

Wednesday May 4 
9:30 a.m. local – Canada vs. Denmark

For live results and standings, visit the World Curling Federation’s event page

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