London Community News
If you ask Mark Ideson who he is, he’ll tell you without hesitating.
One thing an outsider looking in will tell you is missing from the London resident’s list is that he lives his life in a wheelchair, but it’s no accident that the 36-year-old forget to mention it.
“I’m the same person before my accident, I just happen to be living my life sitting down now,” said Ideson, a father to eight-year-old Brooklyn and four-year-old Myles with his wife Lara. “I’m a husband, father, friend, athlete and I was that before my accident.”
Ideson became a quadriplegic in February 2007 when the helicopter he was flying plunged more than 700 metres into a frozen field. Ideson said that incident doesn’t define him, but recently though, he added something that does.
On Dec. 6 Ideson was named to the four-person Paralympic Canada team heading to Sochi, Russia on March 8.
Ideson is joined by the same cast who won gold at the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in March, which was held in the same curling rink the Paralympics will be hosted in.
The shift in dialogue is a welcomed one for Iderson.
“Now the conversation has changed to curling,” he said. “It’s great because that’s what it should be.”
It’s a deserved change.
In 2010 Ideson watched a short TV program on Olympic gold medalist Jon Montgomery that infused the passion in him to represent his country.
In 2011 he attended a camp in Grimsby, Ont. put on by the Canadian Curling Association and the wheelchair curling staff where athletes were asked why they attended the training.
“Most of the players said we’re here to learn. I said I’m here to make Team Canada.” Ideson said, playing wheelchair curling for the first time in 2010. “Maybe that was a bit bold, but I truly wanted to play a sport and represent my country one day.”
In 2012 he skipped the Ilderton team to first-place at Ontario Wheelchair Curling Championships after getting bronze the previous year.
A bold statement three years ago is now a dream fulfilled, and like the dialogue about Ideson himself his goals are only changing for the better.
By March 15 — the end of wheelchair curling at the Paralympics — Ideson might be adding something else to describe himself, a Paralympic medalist.
“Ever time I see an Olympic athlete or a Paralympic athlete receive a medal on the world stage and the anthem plays I’m always there in spirit on the podium,” he said. “When it’s actually me, if I get that, it’s going to something I’ll never forget.”