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The Curling News
Sochi Preview - March 2014

Sochi marks the third time that wheelchair curling, a mixed gender sport played on the same ice with the same rocks as regular curling, but without sweeping, has appeared at the Paralympics.

Canada won both previous golds. Will they three-peat? They have the same team that won the 2013 Worlds, in the same arena, facing the same opposition with mostly the same athletes. [read more]

Preparing for Sochi - December 2013

Canada regained their World title in Sochi last February when Jim Armstrong returned as skip after his abbreviated drug suspension. They did not have things entirely their own way though, losing twice to Sweden before beating them 4-3 in the final.  [read more]

2013 World Championships preview - February 2013

As in Vancouver 2009, this year's World Wheelchair Curling Championships will inaugurate a new Olympic and Paralympic facility  [read more]

A year for training - December 2012

Canada has devoted most of its budget this year to training, with just two events scheduled before the 2013 Worlds in Sochi, Russia: the Richmond BC International and Ottawa’s Cathy Kerr, the world’s biggest wheelchair curling event by entries. [read more]

'Wheelchair Watch' columns published in SWEEP! Magazine

A BC triple play - March 2010

Canada won their gold medal, Korea reawakened to the form that saw them runners-up at the 2008 Worlds, Sweden persevered past a miserable start and a tie-break day suspension of their last rock thrower, and USA did not quite go-all-the-way. The Richmond BC press hailed the Darryl and Jim show, while the Okanagan BC press celebrated Ina and Sonja, and we all see what we want to see. [read more]

Paralympic Prognostications - February 2010

On March 13th Canada will defend their 2006 Torino gold medal in the Olympic arena where a year ago they won their first World Championship. Their opponents are the nine teams with the most qualifying points from the last three Worlds.

Canada has 6-time Brier competitor Jim Armstrong at skip. Lead, Sonja Gaudet, has the most reliable draw shot in the game, according to national coach Joe Rea. Ina Forrest and Darryl Neighbour at second and third, are regularly at the top of the
international stats sheets.

What could go wrong? [read more]

Championship Curling Coming Of Age - January 2010

In a reassuring sign of the health of competitive wheelchair curling, seven of the nine provinces sending teams to the National Championships in Kelowna 15-21 March, are holding playdowns rather than selection camps to decide their representatives. [read more]

Lots of trophies, different winners - December 2009

November has been the busiest ever month for international wheelchair curling competition. Korea, Japan, Great Britain and USA have all played in Canada, while Canada finished the month in Prague. [read more]

Canada prepares for 2010 - November 2009

This season began with an eight person Team Canada training squad, With the coaching staff committed to two females, BC’s Jackie Roy was added as cover for Ina or Sonja. British Columbia continued to dominate the final team as Manitoba’s Chris Sobkowicz and BC’s Gerry Austgarden were cut. [read more]

Jim Armstrong plays Whack-A-Mole as Canada win gold - April 2009

The smiles were a long time coming, but when it was finally time to sing, the tune was O Canada. The Maple Leaf rose centre flag for the first time at a World Wheelchair Curling Championship and Team Canada skip Jim Armstrong had shown in the playoffs that you don't play for 50 years through six Briers without knowing how to coax your opponents into playing your game. [read more]

It's Championship time  -  March 2009

At the Worlds I’ll be discovering how far curling extends beyond each national team. Jim Armstrong told the Vancouver Courier that typically a sport establishes itself at the grassroots before it holds national or Olympic/Paralympic events. Not wheelchair curling. "They've already got all the perks like the world championships, the Canadian championship and appropriate funding," he observed. "Now it just needs more players." [read more]

Changing of the guard as Team Canada face tough challenge at Worlds - February 2009

Sonja Gaudet, picked as alternate, was the sole survivor from Canada’s 2006 gold medal Paralympic team when Team Canada 2009 was finally announced a week before Christmas. To no one’s surprise Jim Armstrong will skip, with Darryl Neighbour at 3rd and Ina Forrest and Chris Sobkowicz at the front end. Chris, from Winnipeg MB, is the first non-BC athlete to make the team since the departure of Chris Daw. [read more]

Canada in form in run-up to Worlds - December 2008

With the Paralympics just 16 months away, wheelchair curling's international calendar has become so busy that national teams are having to pick and choose which events to attend. [read more]

Armstrong cleared to curl for Canada - November 2008

“Though my reliance on my wheelchair is increasing,” he said. “I think it was the opportunity to discuss my situation in person with the WCF assessor, have a real appraisal of my degree of disability, rather than any particular change in my mobility, that led to my being cleared to play in WCF events.” [read more]

New rules to benefit the game - October 2008

As wheelchair curling matures, it is moving closer to the able-bodied game. Summer rule changes lifted the patronising 6-end limit and brought in time clocks to put a stop to 3 hour games.  [read more]

2007/8 Season Wrap-up -  April 2008

The sixth season of wheelchair curling in Canada closes with the TSX sponsored 2008 National Championships in Winnipeg at the end of March. [read more]

Norway repeat as World Champions  -  March 2008

Defying team statistics, Norway (worst) beat Korea (best) 5-3 in an extra end to retain their World Championship title in Sursee, Switzerland.

Canada, 6-3 in round robin play, made the 1-2 Page playoff game, but for the third successive championship failed to reach the podium. [read more]

Goodbye Chris. Hello Jim? February 2008

..... "Having an Armstrong, or a similarly knee-wrecked Pal Trulsen, call the game would be a huge advantage over teams skipped by players limited in experience to the six years or so of this sport's existence." [read more]

"What have you done for me lately?"  December 2007

Coach selection for last season's Team Canada was heavily weighted to favour the Torino gold medalists. This year it's "what have you done for me lately." [read more]

When is a wheelchair curler not a wheelchair curler? - November 2007

When he (or she) does not use a wheelchair for their daily mobility, according to WCF eligibility rule 2g. Enter all-round good guy and 6-time Brier competitor Jim Armstrong whose playing career was curtailed by knee injuries. [read more]

Team Canada berths wide open - October 2007

The 13 wheelchair curlers in the National Team Program Athlete Pool have been told they start the season with an equal opportunity to wear the maple leaf at the 2008 World Championships in Switzerland. [read more]

National team selection breaks with tradition - January 2007

The 13 wheelchair curlers in the National Team Program Athlete Pool have been told they start the season with an equal opportunity to wear the maple leaf at the 2008 World Championships in Switzerland. [read more]

We Welcome Wheelchair Curlers -  April 2006

Curling seems an ideal winter recreation for the tens of thousands of people in Canada who use wheelchairs. Games are played with the same rocks on the same ice as regular curling and almost every community has a curling rink, with generally a ramp-able drop onto the ice for access. Equipment costs are minimal; no more than a delivery stick, often available for loan from the club. [read more]

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