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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Team Canada to chase gold in Russia at World Wheelchair Curling Championship


Feb. 5, 2013

Team Canada to chase gold in Russia at World Wheelchair Curling Championship

(The Canadian wheelchair curling team departs for Russia on Feb. 9, 2013; for interviews with players and coaches, please contact Al Cameron, Director, Communications and Media Relations at acameron@curling.ca or 403-463-5500).


Canada’s most decorated wheelchair curler has a piece of advice for the rookies on the team that will compete at the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship, beginning Feb. 16 in Sochi, Russia.

Team Canada lead Sonja Gaudet (Vernon, B.C.) has won two previous world championships to go along with two Paralympic Games gold medals, and will be participating in her sixth world championship.

Vice-skip Dennis Thiessen (Sanford, Man.) and alternate Mark Ideson (London, Ont.), meanwhile, will be making their international debuts at the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi.

“Oh, boy,” said Gaudet, when asked about what she might say to her new teammates. “Just go out and enjoy the experience and know that they’re travelling with a group of people who’ve been there a few times; there’s a lot of comfort in that. Mark and Dennis are awesome teammates, awesome curlers — they are going to fit right in. They’ve just got to put that pressure right out of their mind.”

There will be some pressure as Canada (the team is rounded out by skip Jim Armstrong [Cambridge, Ont.], second Ina Forrest [Armstrong, B.C.], coach Joe Rea [Prince George, B.C.] and team leader Wendy Morgan [Burlington, Ont.]) attempts to reclaim the world championship it last won in 2011.

Canada is traditionally a favourite going into any international curling competition. As well, with the 2013 world championship serving as the official test event for the wheelchair curling competition at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in 13 months, thoughts of those Paralympics will be hard to avoid.

Gaudet, though, believes it’s a good opportunity for Canadian players and coaches to check out the Paralympic facility. The Canadian Paralympic team will be named later this year, with the five current members of Team Canada all strong candidates.

“That’s certainly a good thing for us (to play in Sochi); we get to check out the venue and be prepared for next year, get all our ducks in a row and know what to expect,” said Gaudet. “Definitely, it’s a bonus.”

Canada will open the Wheelchair Worlds on Feb. 16 against South Korea’s Hak-Sung Kim at 9:30 a.m. local time (12:30 a.m. EST). For the full schedule, refer to: http://wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com/schedule.



Anonymous said...

Canada will be back on the Podium this year

Anonymous said...

They have had no time to play together this year.

Don't expect much this season.

Anonymous said...

I agree....would be nice for a win...but I doubt it....Dennis is WAY out of his league here....he choked at Nationals last yr....how is he expected to do well at WORLDS? Only on the team because Rob Lamb wanted him there....one person does not make a team....but I dont see it happening....

Wayne F said...

I disagree,

Dennis will be fine and should they need to he can play second for a few games to get his feet wet at the world stage. Ina can play third for a few games but will be more valuable at second. Yes, they have not played alot together but all members have thrown a pile of rocks this year and should be ready for a podium finish.

Good luck team Canada

Anonymous said...

I hope they are proven wrong and they do end up in medal round...however...Dennis was chosen not for skill but because Wayne Lamb is good friends with Joe....simple as that...not what you know..its who you know... sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Some of these comments are hilarious coach Joe and Rob the manitoba coach friends . No the are both coaches and I am sure Rob supported Dennis an his tryout with Team Canada as any coach would. Dennis will not be a problem he is a great shot and gets along with the team well. I would be more worried if Jim has problems. Would like to know what happened in Ontario play-downs. Can Jim handle a large round robin event ,lots of support staff can only drag him to the start of the game , but they cannot make the shots for him. Oh I think Team Canada will do just fine and be in the Gold metal game. If they stay rested and healthy.

Anonymous said...

Who should be playing vice, if not Dennis?

I suggest we saw last year that we have limited depth internationally.