Jon Thurston, a 37-year-old Dunsford native, now huddled in Peterborough, Ontario, is heading to Beijing in March for the Paralympic Games. He has been officially named a member of the Canadian curling team.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It is a true honor to represent Canada. It’s been a great journey so far. “

That curling journey started about a decade ago. Thurston found the sport after a construction accident paralyzed him in 2008.

“I’ve never done a curl before in my life,” she said. “I said I’d give it a season and see if I liked it.”

He said he enjoyed being on the team. He also began to see that the dream of being part of the Canada team was achievable “as long as you put in the work.”

“I couldn’t imagine not curling now.”

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Dunsford native Jon Thurston prepares for the World Wheelchair Curling Championships

Now you have achieved that dream. Thurston recently returned from the 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Beijing, where Canada came in fifth place. He said he is excited to come back next year and bring home a medal for Canada.

“It was not the ending we expected,” he said.

“But we were there with all the teams, so I’m looking forward to going back, putting in work, and bringing home some hardware.”

Thurston said that doing such work has played an important role in his social and mental recovery after his injury. It has also provided him with a goal to fight for, he said, adding that there is also “just the fun.”

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Team Manitoba heading to the National Wheelchair Curling Championship

“It is one of the incredible para sports that is very inclusive. I can play with capable bodies, so it’s one of the great sports you can play in your community. And then having the competitive side has been great. “

He added that it is also a great way to spend time in Canada during the winter.

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“It is a challenging sport that requires a lot of concentration,” he said. “It’s like ice chess and I like the strategy of the game.”

Thurston will put that strategy to the test in March 2022, when he and the rest of the Canadian team head to Beijing.

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