Dennis Thiessen added the title Paralympic wheelchair curling champion to his resume in 2014 as he helped Canada to gold in Sochi. A wheelchair curler since 2005, he showed a steady progression in his skill level which earned him a berth on Team Canada in 2012 after an extensive two-year tryout process. He is a former national wheelchair curling champion and helped Team Canada win the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championships, also held in Sochi, Russia.
Team Canada’s vice-skip gets his inspiration to compete from a variety of sources including another well-known Manitoba athlete, Cindy Klassen. He calls Klassen the ultimate professional and a great representative of Canada and has always enjoyed listening to her interviews and motivation messages.
Thiessen is proud of his off-ice accomplishments as well: he was instrumental in starting the provincial branch of Manitoba Farmers with Disabilities, an organization dedicated to presenting farm safety programs to children, youth and adults.
He lost his leg in an accident on his family’s farm when he was seventeen years old.