Wheelchair curling is an adaptation of curling for athletes with a disability affecting their lower limbs or gait. Wheelchair curling is governed by the World Curling Federation, and is one of the sports in the Winter Paralympic Games.
Wheelchair curling is played with the same rocks and on the same ice as regular curling, though the rocks are thrown from a stationary wheelchair and there is no sweeping. Rocks may be thrown by hand while leaning over the side of the wheelchair, or pushed by a delivery stick. This is a pole with a bracket that fits over the rock handle, allowing the rock to be pushed while applying correct rotation.
Stones delivered between the house and the near hogline must be placed within 18 inches either side of the centre line and must be released prior to reaching the near hogline.
National and international competitions are played under rules devised by the World Curling Federation. These rules mandate that teams be of mixed gender,and that games be eight ends in duration. Time limits of 68 minutes for each team with one 60 second time out will be enforced by time clocks. Eligibility is limited to people with disabilities such that a wheelchair is used for daily mobility – more specifically, those who are non-ambulant or can walk only very short distances.
At their April 2010 semi-annual meeting, the World Curling Federation lifted their ban on the use of power chairs at WCF sanctioned events.
Wheelchair curling can be played by people with a wide range of disabilities. All that is needed is the co-ordination to exert a measured pushing force, and a tolerance for cold. It is not an aerobic activity. Without the need for sweepers, wheelchair curling is well suited to two-person formats such as stick-curling.
Wheelchair curling began in Europe in the late 1990s and in North America in 2002. The first World Wheelchair Curling Championship was held in Sursee, Switzerland in 2002, and was won by the host nation who beat Canada 7 - 6 in the final. It started as a Paralympic sport at the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Turin, Italy. Canada, skipped by Chris Daw, won the gold medal, beating Great Britain, skipped by Frank Duffy, 7–4 in the final.
The 2009 World Championship was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in the same venue used for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Team Canada, skipped by 6-time Brier competitor Jim Armstrong, finished the round robin in 4th place but defeated USA 9–2 in the Page playoff, Germany 10–4 in the semi-final and Sweden 9–2 in the final to win their first ever Worlds gold medal.
Canada repeated as Paralympic Champions in Vancouver 2010 when the all-British Columbia team of Sonja Gaudet, Ina Forrest, Darryl Neighbour and skip Jim Armstrong, after taking an early 8–1 lead, defeated South Korea 8-7 for the gold medal. Sweden, who had their 3rd Glenn Ikonen disqualified for failing a drug test, beat USA 7–5 to win bronze.
Wheelchair curling at the 2006 Winter Paralympics was played at the Pinerolo Palaghiaccio, in Pinerolo, 30 km southwest of Turin. Wheelchair curling was making its first appearance at the Paralympic Games and took the form of a mixed team event, open to athletes with a physical disability in the lower part of the body that required the everyday use of a wheelchair.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland competed at the 2006 Winter Paralympics held in Turin, Italy. The team was known by it shortened name of Great Britain, for identification purposes.
The Paralympic sports comprise all the sports contested in the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games. As of 2016, the Summer Paralympics included 22 sports and 526 medal events, and the Winter Paralympics include 5 sports and disciplines and about 72 events. The number and kinds of events may change from one Paralympic Games to another.
The curling competition of the 2010 Olympics was held at Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre in Vancouver. It is the fifth time that curling was on the Olympic program, after having been staged in 1924, 1998, 2002 and 2006. For the 2010 Winter Olympics the competition followed the same format that was used during the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, with 10 teams playing a round robin tournament, from which the top four teams advance to the semi-finals.
Christopher Daw is a Paralympian who competed in adaptive track, marathons, wheelchair basketball, volleyball, wheelchair rugby, and curling for Canada. He was once considered the fastest wheelchair athlete in 1985 though 1987, and is the only Canadian athlete to represent Canada at multiple Paralympic Games for multiple different sports. He is also one of the few athletes to represent Canada at both Summer & Winter Paralympic Games. In 1986, he won 6 Gold medals and set 6 world records at the first World Games for disabled youth in Nottingham, England. He was a member of the 1984 & 1988 Canadian Paralympic adaptive track teams; a member of the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball team, and a member of the Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Team at the 2000 Summer Paralympics before taking up wheelchair curling in 2000.
Frank Duffy was a Scottish wheelchair curler. He was the skip of the silver-medal winning British team at the 2006 Winter Paralympics. He began curling at age 12 and developed paraplegia due to an accident at 35. His career highlights include sharing Gold at the 2004 and 2005 WCF World Championships. Duffy was found dead in his burnt out motor on 16 December 2010, in an apparent suicide.
Ina Forrest is a wheelchair curler selected to be second for Canada's team at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Paralympics, winning a gold medal on both occasions. She has also won a gold medal 3 times in the World Wheelchair Curling Championships, in 2009, 2011, and 2013. She was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in February 2016. She is a member of the Vernon Curling Club in Vernon, British Columbia.
The World Wheelchair Curling Championship is an annual world championship held to determine the world's best team in wheelchair curling. It is held every non-Paralympic year.
James P. Armstrong is a former Canadian curler and wheelchair curler now living in Ontario. He was a successful able-bodied curler for much of his career until he had to stop playing because of bad knees and a car accident in 2003.
Rune Lorentsen is a Norwegian wheelchair curler. He won a silver medal at the 2018 Winter Paralympics.
Tom Killin is a British multi-sport Paralympian. Killin was paralysed following a traffic accident at the age of 17.
The 2011 World Wheelchair Curling Championship was held in Prague, Czech Republic from February 22 - March 1, 2011. Ten mixed gender teams competed for four playoff spots. In the final, Canada's Jim Armstrong defeated Scotland's Aileen Neilson in the final in 7 ends. Teams also gained qualification points from this event for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi.
The World Curling Championships are the annual world championships for curling, organized by the World Curling Federation and contested by national championship teams. There are men's, women's and mixed doubles championships, as well as men's and women's versions of junior and senior championships. There is also a world championship for wheelchair curling. The men's championship started in 1959, while the women's started in 1979. The mixed doubles championship was started in 2008. Since 2005, the men's and women's championships have been held in different venues, with Canada hosting one of the two championships every year: the men's championship in odd years, and the women's championship in even years. Canada has dominated both the men's and women's championships since their inception, although Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Scotland, the United States, Norway and China have all won at least one championship.
Aileen Neilson is a Scottish wheelchair curler. She is the first woman to skip a wheelchair curling team in either the Paralympic Games (2010) or World Championships (2011).
The qualification event of the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship was held from November 3 to 8, 2012 at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland, which hosted the qualification tournaments for the past two World Wheelchair Curling Championships. The qualification event was open to any World Curling Federation affiliated national team not already qualified. The event's two top finishers, Norway and Finland, will join the top 8 finishers from the last World Wheelchair Curling Championship at this season's event in Sochi, Russia.
Angie Malone is a British Paralympian and World Champion Wheelchair curler.
Patrick McDonald is an American wheelchair curler based in Madison, Wisconsin.
The wheelchair curling competition of the 2014 Winter Paralympics was held from 8 to 15 March 2014 at the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi, Russia. Ten mixed teams competed.
Andrey Viktorovich Smirnov is a Russian wheelchair curler playing as skip for the Russian wheelchair curling team. He and his team won the silver medal at the 2014 Paralympic Games and gold medals at the 2012 and 2015 World Championships.
Wang Haitao is a Chinese wheelchair curler. He participated at the 2014 and the 2018 Winter Paralympics, winning a gold medal in 2018.
R13. WHEELCHAIR CURLING ... (h) For WCF wheelchair competitions, each on-ice team must have four players delivering stones and must be comprised of both genders at all times during games. A team violating this rule will forfeit the game.(The quote is from pages 20 and 21 of the pdf file The_Rules_of_Curling_(October_2017).pdf which can be downloaded from the afore-mentioned website.)
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