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HomeNewsDunsford's Jon Thurston Named To Canadian Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team

Dunsford’s Jon Thurston Named To Canadian Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team

KAWARTHA LAKES-Dunsford native Jon Thurston has been named to the Canadian Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team.

“It’s a dream come true to be a Paralympian! It’s been years of hard work and I’m very honoured and excited to get the opportunity to represent Canada.” Thurston told Kawartha 411 News.

This will be Thurston’s first time competing in the Olympics but he is already an accomplished curler having represented Canada in three recent world championships, often throwing the critical last rocks for the Canadians.

Find out more about Thurston’s journey to the Olympics here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2019/01/17/dunsford-man-named-to-team-canada-wheelchair-curling-team/

Canada’s wheelchair curling team will have no shortage of experience at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, with three of the five athletes announced by the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Curling Canada having multiple Games under their belts, accounting for an impressive combined seven total medals.

The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games wheelchair curling team is: 
1.    Ina Forrest – Spallumcheen, BC
2.    Mark Ideson – London, ON
3.    Collinda Joseph – Ottawa, ON
4.    Dennis Thiessen – Crystal City, MB
5.    Jon Thurston – Dunsford, ON

Mark Ideson will be skipping the Canadian squad for the second consecutive Games in what will be his third overall Paralympic appearance. He, along with returning players Ina Forrest and Dennis Thiessen, took home the gold medal in Sochi in 2014 and the bronze in PyeongChang in 2018.

“It’s such an honour to be selected for what will be my third Paralympics,” said Ideson. “Going once was incredible, but having the opportunity to wear the maple leaf again is amazing. 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.”

Forrest, who also competed at the Vancouver 2010 Games winning gold, is one of the world’s most decorated wheelchair curlers.

“The Paralympics are the goal you set and strive for during the quadrennial,” said Forrest. “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.”

Collinda Joseph rounds out the team.

Though the last two years of training and competition have been significantly impacted due to COVID-19, the Canadians have participated in three world championships. In 2019, after an off year dropped the country to the B world championships, Canada won gold to earn promotion back to the upper echelon of the sport. The team then won silver at the 2020 world championships and most recently finished fifth in the 2021 iteration.

“It’s an absolute honour to be a part of this team,” said head coach Mick Lizmore, who will be appearing at his first Paralympic Games after taking on the head coaching role in 2020. “We’re going to do whatever we can to support our athletes, and I’m so excited to see what we can accomplish together.”

Lizmore will be supported in Beijing by team leader Wendy Morgan, who has been head of Canada’s national wheelchair curling program since 2005 and team lead at the past four Paralympic Winter Games.

Wheelchair curling joined the Paralympic Winter Games program in 2006, and since then Canada has captured three gold medals (2006, 2010, 2014) and one bronze medal (2018).

The wheelchair curling tournament in Beijing will take place March 5-12, with the preliminary rounds running March 5-10. Canada’s schedule is as follows (all listed times local to Beijing):

March 5: Canada vs. China 2:35 p.m. / Canada vs. Switzerland 7:35 p.m.
March 6: Canada vs. Latvia 2:35 p.m.
March 7: Canada vs. USA 9:35 a.m. / Canada vs. Sweden 7:35 p.m.
March 8: Canada vs. South Korea 9:35 a.m. / Canada vs. Slovakia 7:35 p.m.
March 9: Canada vs. Great Britain 2:35 p.m. / Canada vs. Estonia 7:35 p.m.
March 10: Canada vs. Norway 9:35 a.m. / Canada vs. RPC 2:35 p.m.


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Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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