US Wheelchair Curling team. Photo credit: USA Curling

By Jim Force | Special to Wausau Pilot & Review

Matt Thums and the U.S. Wheelchair Curling team are on their way to the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Hopes are high, said Thums, who curls at the Wausau Curling Center and who skipped the U.S. wheelchair team at the Paralympics last year in Beijing, China.

“Outside of the defending champion China, the field is wide open,” he said. “We are not concerned about any one team. Our goal is to take one rock, one end at a time throughout the tournament.”

On the team with Thums are Steve Emt of Connecticut, who will be skip, Shawn Sadowski,and Laura Dwyer from Wisconsin, and Batoyun Uranchimeg, Minneapolis. Pete Annis from Minnesota is the coach.

“The team is playing with great chemistry, and I think we have a strong shot at medaling,” Thums said. 

The competition begins Sunday at 12 noon, Pacific time, with U.S. facing Norway. They play Scotland at 9 p.m., Pacific the same day. Round-robin play continues until next Thursday, March 9. Qualifying rounds among the third through sixth place teams will take place Friday, March 10, with semi-finals and finals on Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12.

Twelve teams are entered, including Sweden, Latvia, Korea, Japan, Italy, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and Canada, in addition to the teams already mentioned.

Selected games will be telecast live on the Curling Channel. Up-to-the-minute results are available on

The curling venue is in Richmond, BC, just south of Vancouver. Thums has played there. “It is a great venue, with eight sheets (of ice),” he said.