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Ideson’s wheelchair curling rink secures semi-final birth at Paralympics

Parry Sound’s Mark Ideson and his rink are off to the medal rounds at the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing.

After starting the round-robin stage with four straight wins, it looked like the Canadians would be moving on as they look to upgrade the bronze they won four years ago in Pyeongchang. Three straight losses followed that dropped Canada out of contention to move onto the next round. However, Ideson, Dennis Thiessen, Ina Forrest, Jon Thurston, and alternate Collinda Joseph were able to pull things together and won another three straight, including a thrilling win against Norway.

The playoff-clinching win against the Norwegians wasn’t a simple affair. Canada was down 6-4 heading into the final end, but Thurston’s last rock scored three and gave them the win they needed to secure the final qualification spot. 

Ideson, who was the co-flag bearer for Canada at the opening ceremony for the Paralympics along with Forrest, will now look to repeat their feat from the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi and win gold. 

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The Canadians face China Friday at 1:35 AM for a chance to play for the coveted medal. Ideson’s team beat the Chinese team 7-3 in their opening game of the Paralympics. However, going back to the 2018 Games, China beat Canada on the last rock of their semi-final match-up on their way to a gold medal win. 

Sweden and Slovakia will play, at the same time, in the other semi-final. 

Win or lose, the four teams will only have a few hours to recover. The bronze medal game is scheduled to be played at 6:35 AM Friday, while the gold medal match-up is slated for 1 AM Saturday.

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