Paralympic Winter Games
9-18 March

PyeongChang 2018: Wheelchair curling profiles – Part One

A closer look at four of the 12 teams competing for Paralympic medals 24 Jan 2018
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Norway wheelchair curling - Jostein Stordahl

Norway overcame defending champions Russia in a thrilling gold medal match at the Gangnueng Curling Centre.

ⒸWorld Curling
By World Curling

The 12 wheelchair curling teams competing at PyeongChang 2018 have been decided.

Before the competition gets underway in the Gangneung Curling Centre, from 10 March, here is a closer look at four of those teams.

With the exception of hosts South Korea, the participating Member Associations (MAs) earned their place at the Games through the sum of their qualification points gained at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships (WWhCCs) held in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

All competing MAs have previous experience at the Paralympic Games, with five of them already medalling at the event since its debut at the Paralympic Winter Games in 2006 in Torino, Italy.

Canada

Canada is the most successful wheelchair curling team at the Paralympics. The country has won gold medals in every Paralympic Winter Games – Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.

Three of the five players representing Canada in PyeongChang - skip Mark Ideson, third Ina Forrest, and second Dennis Thiessen - have previous experience of the Games, while lead Marie Wright and alternate James Anseeuw will make their Paralympic Games debut.

Norway

Reigning world champions Norway captured the gold last March in the Gangneung Curling Centre, as the World Championships also acted as the Test Event.

With two medals (gold in 2017 and silver in 2016) in the last three qualifying events, the Norwegians are sending their world champion squad, one of the most experienced at the Games, to PyeongChang. Skip Rune Lorentsen will compete in his fourth Paralympic Winter Games, while third Jostein Stordahl will be competing in his third Games and lead Sissel Loechen will make her second Games appearance. Second Ole Fredrik Syversen and alternate Rikke Iversen will be making their Games debuts.

South Korea

With automatic entry as host nation, South Korea have had some promising results on the world stage in previous years to build on in front of their home crowd. Korean wheelchair curling has three World Championship medals (silver in 2008 and 2012; and bronze in 2016), and a silver from Vancouver 2010.

Four of the five players winning bronze in 2016 will be in PyeongChang, namely skip Soonseok Seo, third Seungwon Jung, second Jaegoan Cha and lead Minja Bang. Alternate Dongha Lee is not new to world events either: he was part of the team that participated in the 2017 World Championships where they finished in sixth place.

USA

The USA finished fifth in the qualification rankings and secured their berth at the Games by finishing fifth, sixth and seventh at the World Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Their Paralympic team is made up of two experienced Paralympians and three players who will make their Games debut. Lead Penny Greely and alternate Meghan Lino took part in the Games in Sochi. Being a multi-sport athlete, Greely has some Summer Paralympic experience as well: winning the bronze medal in sitting volleyball at Athens 2004. Skip Kirk Black, third Steve Emt and second Justin Marshall will gain their first Paralympic experience in PyeongChang.

The Paralympic Winter Games take place in PyeongChang, South Korea from 9-18 March. Tickets can be purchased here.