Paralympic Winter Games
04 - 13 March

Ideson hopes for “loonie luck” at Beijing 2022

Canadian skip Mark Ideson reveals a special tradition Canada are hoping to regain their Paralympic title at Beijing 2022 02 Mar 2022
male wheelchair curler Mark Ideson
Canadian skip Mark Ideson reveals details of a tradition dating back to 2002

When Canada’s Mark Ideson left the World Wheelchair Curling Championships at the National Aquatics Centre in Beijing, China, in October, he did so empty-handed.

This time, the skip says his rink is more prepared. 

The first tiny detail he plans to fix? He will honour the Canadian tradition of hiding a “lucky loonie” somewhere in the venue. It will definitely be a one dollar coin this time, a "loonie", and not a two dollar “toonie” like the one he hid when Canada were eliminated by the USA in the quarterfinals of the Worlds.

“I probably won't use a toonie ever again," Ideson said. "We will stick with the loonie."

Mark Ideson confessed to being a little superstitious. Ⓒ Getty Images

The tradition dates back to Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games, when a Canadian ice-maker buried what proved to be a "lucky loonie" under centre ice at the ice hockey arena. The Canadian men's and women's teams both won gold, and the coin is today in the national Hockey Hall of Fame.

Ideson followed the custom at his Paralympic Winter Games debut at Sochi 2014, where he won gold, and then at PyeongChang 2018, where he earned bronze. 

Ina Forrest (left) and Dennis Thiessen (right) form part of Canada's rink at Beijing 2022.  Ⓒ  WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

“The coins from Sochi and PyeongChang are in the pocket of my podium jackets,” Ideson said. 

One of his first tasks this week is to find the perfect place to hide the loonie.

“Once we're on the ice to practise and get comfortable as a team, we will have a look around and find a good spot for it. There's no secret, really, we just put it in an inconspicuous spot so it's not a distraction."

The 45-year-old skip will be joined at the Ice Cube by his PyeongChang 2018 teammates Ina Forrest, who also won gold at Vancouver 2010, and Dennis Thiessen. Paralympic Games rookies Collinda Joseph and Jon Thurston complete the rink.

The fact he has enjoyed so much success at the Paralympic Games does not add any pressure, Ideson said. 

"We're really just excited to get playing again. I feel the pressure in the preparation. And we certainly feel more prepared than we did coming into the championship here in October. We dot the i's and cross the t's.”  

And hope for a little loonie luck.