Yesterday, Canada named the team members selected to represent the country at the upcoming 2015 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Lohja, Finland. The team includes skipper Mark Ideson, vice-skip Ina Forrest, third Dennis Thiessen, coach Joe Rea, alternate Marie Wright, and second alternate Sonja Gaudet. Jim Armstrong, who has been a long time skipper for the Canadian side, has been left off the team because of health reasons.
Thirty-eight year old Ideson, who is from London, Ontario, was an alternate on the 2013 gold medal winning world championship team, and was also a member of the 2014 Winter Paralympic gold medal winning team.
Fifty-three year old Forrest is a long time member of the Canadian team. She was a member of the 2010 and 2014 Canadian Paralympic teams. The Vernon Curling Club member was a member of the Canadian teams at the 2009 world championships Vancouver, 2011 world championships in Prague and 2013 world championships in Sochi that all won gold.
Thiessen is another returning member from Canada’s gold medal winning 2014 Winter Paralympic Games team. From Sanford, Manitoba, he first made the team in 2012 and has been the only member of the team from his province for a while. He was part of the 2013 gold medal winning world championship team. He was the 2011 Canadian National Wheelchair Curling Champion, and won bronzes in 2008, 2009 and 2010 at the Canadian National Wheelchair Curling championships.
The Canadians will meet teams from the United States, Slovakia, China, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia, Scotland, and Sweden. The Slovak team is expected to include skipper Radoslav Ďuriš, Dušan Pitoňák, Branislav Jakubec, Monika Kunkelová and Imrich Lyócsa. The United States announced their team two weeks ago, and it includes Patrick McDonald, James Joseph, Penny Greely, Meghan Lino, and Steven Emt. The Russian team should include Andrey Smirnov, Oksana Slesarenko, Alexander Shevchenko, Constantine Kurokhtin, Marat Romanov, and Svetlana Pakhomova.