Monday, December 11, 2017

This weekend brought euphoria and heartbreak to Manitoba’s top curlers. 

On Friday, Dennis Thiessen and Jamie Anseeuw were officially named to Canada’s wheelchair curling roster and will look to help Canada win its fourth consecutive gold medal in the sport at the 2018 Paralympic Games.

In Olympic curling, The Roar of the Rings championship weekend brought disappointment to defending Olympic gold medallists Team Jones, Fort Rouge’s Team McEwen, and Manitoba-infused rink Team Carey on Sunday evening.

 

Manitobans Thiessen, Anseeuw to compete for Canada at 2018 Paralympic Games

Two Manitoban athletes will be part of Canada’s quest for Paralympic gold in PyeongChang.

On Friday, Canada officially announced its wheelchair curling roster for the 2018 Paralympic Games. Defending Paralympic gold medallist and Sandford native Dennis Thiessen will be joined at his second Paralympic Games by fellow Manitoban Jamie Anseeuw of Oak Bluff. “I’m really excited to be going to my second Paralympics. I feel even more excited than I did for Sochi,” says Dennis, who mentions having overcome health issues since the Games in 2014.

Jamie, on the other hand, will be experiencing his first ever Paralympic Games in PyeongChang. “I live for high-level competition. To be able to combine that thrill with representing my country while doing it is truly an honour.”

The two Manitobans have been competing together for several years, and have claimed several provincial and national titles together (including the 2017 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships). Dennis, Jamie and their teammates will look to help Canada claim its fourth consecutive Paralympic gold medal in wheelchair curling in March. For the time being, they’ll continue to stay sharp at training camps and competitions in the new year as well as at every-day training sessions.

“While in Winnipeg, Dennis and I do most of our preparation and training with each other. This includes 2-4 on-ice sessions, and 2 visits to the gym to work with Kyle Turcotte each week,” notes Anseeuw.

The Paralympic Games will run from March 8 to 18th in PyeongChang, South Korea.

 

No Manitobans will represent Canada in Olympic four-player curling

Every four years, the Roar of the Rings serves as a testament to the true world-class nature of Canadian curling. This year, numerous Olympic medallists were defeated, both on the men’s and women’s sides.

After defending Olympic champions Team Jones posted a 5-3 record in the round robin, they took on World Champions Team Homan in Saturday’s semifinal. Jones suffered a 6-3 loss to Homan, and will not be heading to PyeongChang to defend theirOlympic gold medal.

Homan took on Alberta’s Team Chelsey Carey on Sunday evening, and proved why they’ve been on top of the curling world all year. A single missed shot in the tenth end made the difference as Team Carey – boasting Manitobans Chelsea Carey and Cathy Overton-Clapham – fell to Homan 6-5, suffering their first (and last) loss of the Roar in heartbreaking fashion. Team Carey is the first women’s team to have gone undefeated through the round-robin at a Roar of the Rings.

A star-studded men’s field brought excitement to Canadians all week, with Winnipeg’sTeam McEwen looking the part of Olympic contenders. McEwen shocked reigning World Champions Brad Gushue on Saturday to claim a spot in the final against Team Koe.

Manitoba’s underdogs put on one last show on Sunday night, bringing their best to the Olympic Trials final (their biggest game ever since forming in 2006). The Fort Rouge based rink fought until the bitter end, falling to Team Koe with the very final shot of the game.

Also competing at the Roar were Manitoban teams Englot (2-6), Carruthers (4-4), and several Manitoban athletes competing for teams based elsewhere. Early losses to McEwen and Koe meant a tough path for Carruthers, who missed the playoff round. Despite a sub-500 record for Team Englot, they’ll be returning home happy: due to Homan’s win at the Roar, Team Englot will play as Team Canada at the upcoming 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Despite an upsetting Olympic Trials for Manitoba’s curlers, many of them will have a second shot at Olympic contention. The first ever Mixed Doubles Olympic Trials will run from January 2-7, 2018 in Portage la Prairie, MB.

For draws, schedules, and information on the Mixed Doubles Olympic qualification process, click here.