OTTAWA – There’ll be no shortage of experience on the Canadian wheelchair curling teams for the 2023 World Championships and World Mixed Doubles Championships both set for March 4-12 at the Richmond (B.C.) Curling Centre.
Mark Ideson of London, Ont., returns as skip for the fourth straight world championships. The three-time Paralympic Games medallist, who shoots lead, is joined by second Gil Dash of Regina, third Ina Forrest of Spallumcheen, B.C., and fourth Jon Thurston of Dunsford, Ont. Marie Wright of Moose Jaw, Sask., is the fifth member.
Forrest, Thurston and Ideson were all part of Canada’s bronze medal winning team at the 2022 Paralympic Games and the squad that won silver at the 2020 World Championships. Canada was fifth at the 2021 Worlds.
For Dash, this will be his first time representing Canada on the world stage.
“It’s just such an honour to be on Team Canada,” he said. “I’m extremely proud to put on the Maple Leaf and strive for the podium with my teammates. It will be extra special to have our loved ones there to cheer us on and be part of the journey with us.”
Canada has earned six world championship medals since the first edition in 2002 including three gold. Its last world title was in 2013.
Two other members of the Beijing team, Collinda Joseph of Stittsville, Ont., and Dennis Thiessen of Crystal City, Man., will join forces in the mixed doubles. Canada was seventh at the inaugural mixed doubles worlds last season with Wright and Jamie Anseeuw of Winnipeg.
“Dennis and I are excited to compete together and showcase the sport to new audiences,” said Joseph. “Hosting this event in Canada will increase awareness of mixed doubles wheelchair curling and will hopefully encourage more people with disabilities to give it a try.”
The World Wheelchair Curling Championship is for 12 mixed gender teams: one from the host nation, eight qualify directly from the previous World Wheelchair Curling Championship and three from the World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship.