Ina Forrest and Sonja Gaudet have their eye on the prize as they get ready to do battle for Canada.
Forrest, from Armstrong, and Vernon’s Gaudet have been named to the national wheelchair curling team for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games March 7 to 16 in Sochi, Russia.
“I’m very excited,” said Gaudet, who was in Winnipeg for the announcement Friday.
“I’m happy to have maintained a spot on the team.”
International competition is nothing new for either of them.
Forrest, who plays second, and lead 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 considered the world’s most celebrated wheelchair curler.
She 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.
Gaudet was named to the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame this year.
Besides her 2010 Paralympic gold medal, Forrest is a three-time world wheelchair curling champion.
Making up the rest of Team Canada in Sochi will be Jim Armstrong of Cambridge, Ont., Dennis Thiessen of Sanford, Man. and Mark Ideson of London, Ont.
Prince George’s Joe Rea will be the coach while Wendy Morgan, of Burlington, Ont. will serve as the team leader.
“It’s a great and cohesive team with a lot of experience and some great new athletes,” said Gaudet.
Leading up to Sochi, the team’s schedule will be dominated by competitions and practices.
Gaudet is looking forward to spending more time with Forrest, a fellow member of the Vernon Curling Club.
“We get to train together and we make a solid front end. It’s really exciting,” said Gaudet.
The Canadian Curling Association is expecting big things from the wheelchair curlers.
“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, CCA chief executive officer.