Andrea Geary, Staff Reporter – The Headliner. Article reprinted with permission from The Headliner.
After winning gold at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, a world championship in 2013 and three Canadian wheelchair curling championships, you’d think that Dennis Thiessen might be thinking about retiring.
However instead of gearing down, the 55-year-old Sanford resident is in the midst of training to represent Canada at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Paralympic Games as second on the national curing team.
"I’m really excited to be going to my second Paralympics. I feel even more excited than I did for Sochi and part of that is because I’m going with a teammate who I trained,” Thiessen said.
Thiessen was referring to Oak Bluff’s Jaimie Anseeuw. Anseeuw, 59, was named as the team’s alternate. Anseeuw said he’s been mentored by Thiessen, who persuaded him to try wheelchair curling in 2014. Right from the start, the former snowmobile racer aimed to be competitive in curling and is pleased to be part of the national team heading to South Korea."You want to keep on striving,” he said.
While Anseeuw was a member of the Manitoba team that won the Canadian wheelchair curling championships in 2014 and 2017, this will be the first time he’s competed at the international level.
The Canadians are looking for their fourth consecutive gold medals in South Korea from March 8 to 18, 2018. Thiessen said he’s optimistic that he and the rest of the Team Canada members will play their way to the podium again.
"The team we have this year is a little different. We’ve gelled really well,” Thiessen said.