Paralympic medallists return for 2022-23 season in wheelchair curling

Eight players named to national team squad
Ideson

OTTAWA – The five players who won Paralympic bronze for Canada in wheelchair curling this past winter in Beijing were named last week to the 2022-23 national team squad by Curling Canada. 

Beijing 2022 medallists Ina Forrest, Dennis Thiessen, Mark Ideson, Jon Thurston, and Collinda Joseph will be joined by 2018 Paralympic bronze medallists Marie Wright and Jamie Anseeuw, and newcomer Gil Dash.

This season, the players will vie for five spots at the 2023 World Wheelchair Curling Championship and two athletes will also represent Canada at the 2023 World Wheelchair Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. 
It was announced Friday that both worlds will run simultaneously March 4-12 in Richmond, B.C.

Athletes will be evaluated throughout the fall, and team selection for the world championships will be announced by January.

Here is a quick snapshot of each player:

Ina Forrest (Spallumcheen, BC): Forrest is the veteran of the team with four Paralympic Games and 12 straight world championships appearances. She won gold at the 2010 and 2014 Games and bronze at the last two Paralympics. 

Dennis Thiessen (Sanford, Man.): Thiessen also brings a lot of experience to the table with three straight Paralympic Games appearances. He has also competed at every world championships since 2013 except 2017 and 2019.

Mark Ideson (London, Ont.): Ideson has been Canada’s skip at the last two Paralympic Games and three world championships. He was also on Canada’s gold medal winning squad at the 2014 Games.

Jon Thurston (Dunsford, Ont.): Thurston is Canada’s sharpshooter as he throws last rock. He has filled that role at the last two world championships, including in Canada’s silver medal performance in 2020, and at the 2022 Winter Paralympics.

Collinda Joseph (Stittsville, Ont.): A member of Canada’s last three world championships squad, Joseph made her Paralympic Games debut in 2022. Although she was the team alternate, she did get some playing action in Beijing.

Marie Wright (Moose Jaw, Sask.): A member of the 2018 Paralympic Games bronze medal-winning team, Wright returns to the national team fold at age 62. Last season she teamed with Anseeuw to compete at the first-ever mixed doubles world championships in Finland. Mixed doubles will be a new Paralympic Games event in 2026.

Jamie Anseeuw (Winnipeg): An alternate on the 2018 Paralympic Games team, Anseeuw teamed with Wright this past winter at the inaugural world mixed doubles championships, where the pair finished 13th. 

Gil Dash (Regina): Dash is the newcomer this year, joining the national team squad from the Caledonian Curling Club in Regina. He has played for Team Saskatchewan, which included Wright, at national championships.