Spallumcheen's Ina Forrest named to Canada's wheelchair curling team for Beijing Paralympics

Ina goes for gold again

Spallumcheen's Ina Forrest has been named to Canada's wheelchair curling team for the Beijing Paralympic Winter Games.

The team will have no shortage of experience, with three of the five athletes having multiple Games under their belts, accounting for an impressive combined seven total medals.

Joining Forrest on the team are Dennis Thiessen of Crystal City, Man., Collinda Joseph of Ottawa, Jon Thurston of Dunsford, Ont., and Mark Ideson of London, Ont.

Ideson will skip the squad for the second consecutive Games and 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.

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.”

Rounding out the team are first-time Paralympians Thurston and 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 2021.

The wheelchair curling tournament in Beijing will take place March 5-12.

Games chef de mission Josh Dueck, also from Vernon, said: “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 take place March 4-13, 2022 in China.

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