Gold medallists Forrest, Ideson head up Canada's Paralympic wheelchair curling rink

·2 min read
From left, Canada's Dennis Thiessen, Ina Forrest, Jon Thurston, and Mark Ideson are seen at the world wheelchair curling championship in October. The quartet alongside Collinda Joseph were announced as Canada's rink for the Beijing Paralympics on Thursday. (Mark Schiefelbein/The Associated Press - image credit)
From left, Canada's Dennis Thiessen, Ina Forrest, Jon Thurston, and Mark Ideson are seen at the world wheelchair curling championship in October. The quartet alongside Collinda Joseph were announced as Canada's rink for the Beijing Paralympics on Thursday. (Mark Schiefelbein/The Associated Press - image credit)

Hoping to restore its place atop the wheelchair curling podium, Canada's five-person rink headed to the Beijing Paralympics was announced on Thursday.

The team will be skipped by Mark Ideson, who helped Canada win gold at Sochi 2014 before falling to bronze as skip at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

Ideson, the 45-year-old from London, Ont., recently led Canada to a fifth-place finish at the 2021 world championships.

"Having the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf again is amazing," he said. "That's really what it's about, opportunity. Opportunity for athletes living with disabilities to represent their country in their chosen sport, and to be seen and witnessed as athletes striving for their dreams to sing their anthem atop the podium."

He'll be joined by fellow Paralympic returnees Ina Forrest, 59, and Dennis Thiessen, 54. Each competed in the previous two Paralympics, with Forrest also taking gold at Vancouver 2010.

"Being at the Paralympics means being part of the whole Team Canada, meeting other Canadian athletes and cheering them on. Every experience is different, but each is utterly amazing," Forrest said.

Jon Thurston, 37, and Collinda Joseph, 56, round out the team as Paralympic rookies. Both have competed at three world championships for Canada. Thurston will throw last rocks in Beijing.

"This is a dream come true. It's a goal that I have been working on for a long time now. It's such an honour to be able to represent Canada at the highest level," Thurston said.

Head coach Mick Lizmore will also make his Paralympic debut after taking over the role in 2020.

Canada has captured a medal in ever Paralympic wheelchair competition since the sport's debut in 2006, including three gold and one bronze.

The Beijing tournament runs from March 5 through March 12.

Full team

  • Ina Forrest – Spallumcheen, B.C.

  • Mark Ideson – London, Ont.

  • Collinda Joseph – Ottawa, Ont.

  • Dennis Thiessen – Crystal City, Man.

  • Jon Thurston – Dunsford, Ont.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting