Ina Forrest (left) of Spallumcheen joins Team Canada for wheelchair curling at the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing. (Canadian Paralympic Committee image)

Ina Forrest (left) of Spallumcheen joins Team Canada for wheelchair curling at the 2022 Paralympics in Beijing. (Canadian Paralympic Committee image)

Spallumcheen’s golden Paralympian Beijing bound in wheelchair curling

Multi-medallist Ina Forrest joins Team Canada at Winter Games

Ina Forrest is going for gold again as the wheelchair curling Paralympian is Beijing bound.

Canada’s wheelchair curling team will have no shortage of experience at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, with three of the five athletes announced Thursday, Jan. 27 having multiple Games under their belts, accounting for an impressive combined seven total medals.

Spallumcheen’s Forrest is joined by Dennis Thiessen of Manitoba and Ontario’s Mark Ideson, Dennis Thiessen and Jon Thurston.

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 Forrest and Thiessen, took home the gold medal in Sochi in 2014 and the bronze in PyeongChang in 2018.

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

READ MORE: Spallumcheen curler helps Canada win at world wheelchair curling championships

“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.”

Rounding out the team are first-time Paralympians Jon Thurston and Collinda Joseph.

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.

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 takes place March 5-12. 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.

“A very warm welcome to the team to our wheelchair curlers Mark, Ina, Dennis, Jon, and Collinda,” said Vernon’s own Josh Dueck, chef de mission, Beijing 2022 Canadian Paralympic Team. “Canada has always been one of the best nations in wheelchair curling and I know this team will continue to make us proud. With three Paralympic champions and stalwarts in the sport Mark, Ina, and Dennis returning for another opportunity to compete at the Games, and first-time Paralympians Jon and Collinda adding their talents, this team will always be in a strong position to do well. I wish them the best of luck and look forward to cheering them on in Beijing.

The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will take place March 4-13, 2022 in China. Canada is expecting to send a team of approximately 50 athletes, and audiences across the country will be able to follow all the action live through coverage from the Canadian Paralympic Media Consortium, including broadcast partners CBC/Radio-Canada, AMI, and Sportsnet, and digital partners Twitter, Facebook, and MXZN.

READ MORE: Vernon freestyle skier reaches Olympic dream


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