From misfortune to triumph for paracurlers
DETERMINATION: It doesn't take long to get back into sports, says tough
By Gordon Mcintyre - The Province - Friday, March 10 2006
Different misfortunes brought them
together from east and west to represent Canada at the Turin Paralympic
But the all share the pressure any curler does when he or she puts on
the Maple Leaf.
"It would be nice to emulate [the Gushue rink's gold medal win a couple
weeks ago], said Team Canada third Gerry Austgarden, who grew up in Fort
St. John and now lives in Westbank. "I don't want to make any
predictions because if we don't wind up doing it, we'll fell even worse.
"But I take that to heart. We are expected to do well."
Austgarden, 42, had a dirtbike accident when he was 34 that broke two
Second Gary Cormack, born in Kenora, Ont., and now living in Surrey, was
diagnosed 22 years ago when he was 33 with multiple sclerosis, the
neurological disease that causes muscle degeneration.
Lead Sonja Gaudet, of Vernon, was age 31 eight years ago when she was
thrown from a horse and injured her spine.
All partake in various other sports, such as tennis and skiing.
Skip Chris Daw, a 36-year-old paraplegic from London, Ont. was born
without muscles in his legs. Once considered the fastest wheelchair
athlete in the world, Daw climbs mountains, parachutes, scuba dives and
is a black-belt seventh dan in aki-jujitsu.
Perhaps it goes without saying that Daw is a take-charge guy.
"He likes to be the leader out there, we'll put it that way," Austgarden
said with a chuckle.
The paracurling runs March 12-18 at Pinerolo palaghiaccio, where the
Canadian men struck gold and the women bronze.
Begun in Europe in '98, paracurling came to Canada in 2001 and is now in
The four-player teams are mixed gender and are open to people with
significant impairment in their legs or gait who usually require a
There are six ends and no sweeping, which makes weight and accuracy
They deliver from their wheelchair at the hog line, pushing the rock
with a stick and with a teammate behind holding the chair steady.
"I figured my opportunity might be in 2010, but my dream came true even
earlier," said Cormack, a longtime girls softball coach in Newton who
was the last player named to the team.
Canada is ranked fourth. Switzerland, where the sport began, and
Scotland are the teams to beat.
"At first you think you can't do the activities you did before," Gaudet
said of her riding accident. "Then you start looking into it and you
realize you can do all of them with adaptive equipment. If you were
active before, it doesn't take you long to get back into sports"
Added Autsgarden: "You never have to give up on any dreams.
"I was always very active in sports and this gives me an avenue to take
it to the highest level."
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TORINO 2006 – THE PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES
Daily Coverage Begins March 11 on CBC Television
CBC kicks off coverage of TORINO 2006 – THE PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES on
March 11, as 700 athletes from 41 countries compete for 58 medals in
five disciplines including alpine skiing, cross-country skiing,
biathlon, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. This year, CBC’s
coverage of the Games will be available in more ways than ever before.
From March 11 to 19, CBC will keep Canadians up to date on all of the
action in Turin with reports airing weekdays at 4:55 p.m. (local,
Quebec-West), as well as later in the evening, following CBC News: The
National. During the weekend, the daily TORINO 2006 – THE PARALYMPIC
WINTER GAMES packages will air within CBC Sports Saturday.
The daily five-minute packages, co-hosted by CBC’s Karin Larsen and Tara
Teigan, will feature a “story of the day” and a report on each day’s
results. Former Paralympians Rob Snoek and Stacy Kohut, and CBC News’
Min Dhariwal will also file reports throughout TORINO 2006 – THE
PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES.
CBC’s coverage will also be broadcast each day on CBC Newsworld, while
CBC News will air daily reports and regional-specific stories for the 6
p.m. (local) news programs across the country. Additionally, reporter
Christopher Grosskurth will provide daily reports on CBC Radio during
TORINO 2006 – THE PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES.
For viewers in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, a special 30-minute
broadcast welcoming home athletes from these respective provinces will
air on March 28 at 7 p.m. (local) on CBC. Plus, two weeks following the
conclusion of TORINO 2006 – THE PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES, CBC Sports will
produce and broadcast three Paralympics specials hosted by Tara Teigan,
beginning on April 1 at 5 p.m. ET and continuing on April 8 at 4:30 p.m.
ET and April 15 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Viewers can visit
cbc.ca/paralympics daily during TORINO 2006 – THE PARALYMPIC WINTER
GAMES for news stories about the Games, analysis and information about
Team Canada and the country’s top medal contenders, Paralympic event
schedules, CBC broadcast schedules, medal counts and more.
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Wheelchair curling debut at BC Winter Games - Feb 26, 2006
Three teams from the lower mainland
joined a team from Prince George, braving a 13 hour overnight coach ride
through snow to compete in the first ever wheelchair curling event at
the BC Winter Games in Trail. Team Canada 2nd Gary Cormack beat Darryl
Neighbour 7 - 3 in the final, while Bill Lindstrom's Prince George team
took bronze despite losing their 3 round-robin games.
Gold Medallists Team Cormack
Gary Cormack, Dave Schneider, Samantha Siu
Teams and Results
Gary Cormack (skip), Dave Schneider, and Samantha Siu
Darryl Neighbour (skip), Jamie Whitman, and Clarence Phelps
Bill Lindstrom (skip) Frank Labounty, Whitney Warren, Ryan Purvis
Bob Macdonald (skip), Lou Gibson, Vince Miele, and Miguel Valencia
Report from the opening day of the
Canadian Nationals - Feb 14, 2006
by Bev Oldham: It is the quietest
curling I have ever seen except for the Deaf Nationals. No
sweeping, therefore no screaming. All curlers delivered with the stick –
no one playing today leaned over and delivered by hand. I have seen
wheelchair curlers do this – perhaps not allowed in the Nationals?
The curlers themselves get very cold –
it is evident. All teams in this event are mixed – must have at least
one woman. Don’t know if a team of just women is permitted.
They tend to play a draw and raise,
light take-out game. Many rocks in the house,
therefore easy for a skip to bump a rock with a wheel. This did
happen today – at least twice that I noted. It is also hard to see
all the rocks in play from any view point because of the chairs.
When a third and his/her skip are conferring about shots and both are in
the house you can’t see the rocks.
The skill level is amazing. The
lead on Team Canada made great shots – in front when called for, in the
house when asked. She drew in once then drew in to freeze on her
own with her next shot. Teams were delivering heavy in the first
end – perhaps not expecting keen ice. After that several shots
were light – light weight take out shots overcurled,
wicked or missed instead of hitting and sticking. Some key draws came
up short of the rings. Once the skips figured out how much curl
there was they started asking for more weight on the hits.
In the third end the Alberta skip
Yizek made a great double take out on his
last shot to count l. On another sheet
Bordeleau, the BC skip made a great angled raise take-out on his
last rock to count 3.
The final end between Canada and BC (Bordeleau)
was interesting. BC had the hammer. After the seconds’ stones
there were 2 Canada (red) rocks on the back 12, and l BC (blue) biting
the 12 and two of each colour out front
scattered. Red drew in biting the top 8. Blue hit and stuck
in top 12. Red attempted to hit, grazed off a guard and went right
through the house. Blue hit a red rock on the back 12 and stuck.
Red drew in, trying to freeze to the previous shot, came up short. Blue
bumped that red rock, blue sitting 2. Red trying to hit, came wide
and hit his own red third shot rock. BC
didn’t have to throw their last rock. Blue counted 2 for the win.
Throughout the entire end there was never a rock even biting the 4 foot
circle, yet it was wide open on the outturn side the whole end.
The BC Ontario game ended before the
skips final rocks – Ontario was counting 2 and BC conceded – final score
4 – 3 Ontario.
This is a three year old sport, but it
is expected to make great headway amongst wheelchair users looking for a
non-aerobic game with lots of social interaction, congenial people to
play with and against, and it is no different from curling with brushes
and sweeping – much of the game is mental and requires concentration.
Bev Oldham Feb 14, 2006
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Team Ontario set after 3 team playdown.
January 30th, 2006
Three Ontario teams competed at the
Peterborough Curling Club for the right to challenge fellow Ontarian
Chris Daw's Team Canada rink and provincial teams from BC, Alberta and
Manitoba at the Nationals February 13 - 19th in Richmond BC.
Teams skipped by Chris Rees of the
Leaside Curling Club, Don Bell of the Sydenham Community Curling Club,
and Richard Fraser of the R A Curling Club played a round robin, with
Bell defeating Fraser 7 - 1 in the semi-final only to lose to undefeated
Rees 7 - 1 in the final. The winning team featured Chris Rees at skip,
Karl Bax at 3rd, Frank Cannarella at 2nd and Lisa Blanchard at lead.
Karl Bax curls out of the Peterborough Curling Club, but joined the Rees
team for this event.
Full details are available at the
Ontario Curling Association's website.
The Rees team will represent Ontario at the Nationals and will be
accompanied by coaches Tom Ward and Bob Pippy.
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BC selects 2 teams for 2006 National Championships
in Richmond BC
BC’s two teams for the
Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship have been set following a
selection camp held Jan. 6-8 at the Marpole CC in Vancouver.
Team A is skipped by Jim
Shannon of Vancouver, last year’s runner-up at the national
championship. The rest of Shannon’s team includes third Darryl
Neighbour of Richmond, second Lou Gibson from Surrey, Armstrong’s Ina
Forrest at lead and fifth Bob Macdonald from Richmond. Melissa Soligo,
Curl BC’s regional coach on Vancouver Island, will coach Team A.
Team B skip will be Ron Bordeleau of Richmond, who played second on
Shannon’s BC team last year. Third is Kelowna’s Ron Vaselenak, second
is Frank LaBounty of Prince George, lead is Jacqueline Roy of Richmond
and Whitney Warren from Prince George will be the fifth. Monique
Moonie, a former Curl BC regional coach for the Lower Mainland, is
coaching Team B.
The national wheelchair championship returns to the Richmond CC this
year from Feb. 13-19.
Kelowna, British Columbia. January 9th, 2006
selected 2 teams to represent the province at the Canada National
Wheelchair Curling Championships in Richmond, BC February 13-19, 2006.
wheelchair athletes vied for spots on the provincial team by attending a
two day selection camp at the Marpole Curling Club. Scores on skill
drills as well as coach assessments of strategic understanding, mental
toughness and other suitability criteria were used to select the two
selection camp was followed by an 8 team Cashspiel with Team Canada
joining a mixture of able-bodied and wheelchair athletes competing for
$750 in prize money. The event was won by a team skipped by Jim Shannon,
who had Team Canada member Gerry Austgarden playing third.
CLICK HERE for some pictures taken at
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Team Canada – Wheelchair curling
Chris Daw (skip)
Born: 01/02/70 Birthplace: North York ON Hometown: London ON Coach: joe Rea Club: Ilderton Curling club Married: Mari – 3 children Career
Highlights: 1984 Paralympics Stoke UK (athletics), 1988 Paralympics
Seoul Korea (athletics), 2000 Paralympics Sydney AUS (Rugby), 3 World
Championships, 1 World Cup, 2 National Championships.
Born: 01/07/64 Birthplace: Fort St. John, BC Hometown: Westbank BC
Coach: joe Rea Club: Vernon Curling Club Married: Doreen – daughter
Zoe-Ann Occupation: Investment Advisor BMO Nesbitt Burns Career
Highlights: 2 National Championships, 1 World Championship
Born: 05/27/50 Birthplace: Kenora ON Hometown: Surrey BC Coach: joe Rea
Club: Marpole Curling club Married: Susan Career Highlights: 2 National
Championships, 1 International Bonspiel
Born: 01/26/66 Birthplace: Brockville ON Hometown: London ON Coach: joe Rea Club: Ilderton Curling club Occupation: Certified Fitness Consultant
Notables: Certified Level 2 Hockey Referee – refs from a sledge Career
Highlights: 3 World Championships, 1 World Cup, and 2 National
Born: 07/22/66 Birthplace: North Vancouver BC Hometown: Vernon BC Coach:
joe Rea, Sharon Delver Club: Vernon Curling Club Married: Dan – 2
children Career Highlights: 2 National Championships, 2 International
Coach: joe Rea - Prince George BC
Equipment Manager: Trevor Kerr – London ON
Team Leader: Wendy Morgan – Burlington ON
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Kelowna, British Columbia. December 29th, 2005
All three British Columbians made the 5
person Team Canada wheelchair curling squad and will be going to Torino
to compete for the very first Gold Medal at the 2006 Winter Paralympics.
Congratulations to Sonja Gaudet of
Vernon, Gerry Austgarden of Kelowna and Gary Cormack of Vancouver. They
join skip Chris Daw and Karen Blachford, both of London, Ontario.
The 6 person training squad was reduced
to the five who will travel to Italy in March when Jim Primavera, part
of Daw's Ontario based team that competed in the last three world
championships, was cut on Boxing Day.
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British Wheelchair Curling Association 30th October 2005
GB announces strong curling team for
Winter Paralympic Games
The players that won this year’s World
Wheelchair Curling Championships will have the opportunity to challenge
for gold at the Torino 2006 Winter Paralympic Games.
All five players who won the World
Championships in Glasgow in January are named today (Sunday) by the
British Paralympic Association in the GB team for the Winter Paralympic
Britain qualified for Torino – the first
time curling has appeared at the Winter Paralympic Games – by virtue of
Scotland’s victories at the 2004 and 2005 World Champions.
Frank Duffy, Michael McCreadie, Tom
Killin, Angie Malone and Ken Dickson, were today confirmed to represent
Great Britain in Torino, with Louise Dodd selected as non-travelling
Team manager Ena Stevenson said: “It’s a
strong team and we’re going out to get into the medal zone. We know
there are no easy games at this level, so we can’t take anything for
Great Britain have a particularly tough
start to the competition in Torino – they play the Switzerland and
Denmark – the bronze and silver medallists at the 2005 World
Championships – on the opening day of competition in Torino.
The GB team includes Michael McCreadie,
who played for the Great Britain basketball team at three Paralympic
Games and coached at two further Paralympic Games.
Tom Killin also has Paralympic Games
experience – he won a silver medal in table tennis in 1984 and silvers
in fencing in both 1980 and 1984.
GB curling team for Torino
Frank Duffy – Falkland, Fife (27.08.59)
Michael McCreadie – Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire (16.03.46)
Tom Killin – Edinburgh (30.03.50)
Angie Malone - Girvan (27.05.65)
Ken Dickson – Berwick-upon-Tweed (01.07.44)
Louise Dodd – Dingwall, Inverness (26.06.74)
Ena Stevenson from Dunfermline will be
team manager, while Tom Pendreigh from Inverness is head coach and
Glasgow’s Ali Glover is physiotherapist. Kenny More from Fife will be