Spallumcheen wheelchair curler Ina Forrest is a step closer to again playing for Paralympics gold.
Forrest was part of a veteran-laden lineup nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee to represent this country in wheelchair curling at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Gamesin Pyeongchang, South Korea, it was announced Friday by Curling Canada.
Three members of Canada’s gold-medal team four years ago in Sochi, Russia, have been nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee, as have two athletes with no past Paralympic experience, as Canada takes aim at an unprecedented fourth consecutive Paralympic wheelchair curling gold medal.
Mark Ideson (London, Ont.) was the lead of the team that won gold in Sochi, but will now take over the reins at skip. Two-time gold-medallist Forrest will reprise her role as vice-skip, while Dennis Thiessen (Sanford, Man.) will return as second.
Lead Marie Wright (Moose Jaw, Sask.), who represented Canada at the 2017 World Championship in Pyeongchang, was selected to fill out the roster and return to South Korea in March.
Alternate James Anseeuw (Oak Bluff, Man.) will wear the Maple Leaf for the first time in international play.
Thiessen, Wright and Anseeuw are all two-time Canadian wheelchair curling champions; Thiessen and Anseeuw were teammates representing Manitoba in 2017 and 2014, while Wright was part of Saskatchewan’s gold-medal teams in 2016 and 2012.
The Canadian Paralympic Committee will officially name the Canadian Paralympic Team early next year.
Wayne Kiel (Balgonie, Sask.) will act as team coach in his first Paralympics; he was an assistant coach of the victorious Canadian team in Sochi.
Wheelchair curling made its Paralympic debut in the 2006 Torino games, and Canada has claimed gold at each of the three games since. Vernon’s Sonja Gaudet was a member of those three teams.
The Winter Paralympic Games run from March 8 -18, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with the curling competition being staged at the Gangneung Curling Centre, which also hosted the 2017 World Wheelchair Curling Championship.
Ten wheelchair curling teams will play a round robin, after which the top four will play in the medal round.