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North Okanagan curlers heading to the Paralympics

The Canadian wheelchair curling team nominated for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games includes skip Jim Armstrong of Cambridge, Ont., vice-skip Dennis Thiessen of Sanford, Man., second Ina Forrest of Armstrong, lead Sonja Gaudet of Vernon and alternate Mark Ideson of London, Ont.  - CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee photo
The Canadian wheelchair curling team nominated for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games includes skip Jim Armstrong of Cambridge, Ont., vice-skip Dennis Thiessen of Sanford, Man., second Ina Forrest of Armstrong, lead Sonja Gaudet of Vernon and alternate Mark Ideson of London, Ont.
— image credit: CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee photo

Two North Okanagan residents are going for the gold.

Armstrong’s Ina Forrest and Vernon’s Sonja Gaudet have been named to Canada’s wheelchair curling team for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games March 7 to 16 in Sochi, Russia.

The team, which also includes Jim Armstrong of Cambridge, Ont., Dennis Thiessen of Sanford, Man. and Mark Ideson of London, Ont. — will play for a third consecutive wheelchair curling gold medal for Canada.

“We couldn’t be happier with the team we’ve nominated to send to Sochi, and we’re confident this group of athletes gives us our best possible chance to win an unprecedented third Paralympic gold medal,” said Greg Stremlaw, Canadian Curling Association chief executive officer.

“The next three months will focus on the finer details to be at our best come March 7.”

Forrest and Gaudet were part of the team that won gold at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, while Gaudet was part of Team Canada when wheelchair curling made its debut as a Paralympic medal sport in 2006 in Turin, Italy.

Gaudet is the world’s most decorated wheelchair curler.

Inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 2013, Gaudet will be seeking her third Paralympic gold medal to go along with three World Championship titles (2009, 2011, 2013). She is the only wheelchair curler in Paralympic history to have won two Paralympic gold medals.

Forrest is a three-time world wheelchair curling champion.

“This is without a doubt the most experienced and accomplished squad that Canada could possibly field in wheelchair curling,” Ozzie Sawicki, Team Canada chef de mission.

“They have proven consistently that they are at the top of their game and I can’t wait to watch them take on the world in Sochi.”

 

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