Quesnel sledge hockey player James Gemmell during the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, PEI. Photo: Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images

B.C. sledge hockey player makes Canada’s Paralympic team for second time

The Paralympic medallist from Quesnel will head to PyeongChang to compete

Hockey Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee has announced its Paralympic sledge hockey roster for the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, and B.C. athlete James Gemmell has made the team.

Gemmell, 37, was also on the Canadian Paralympic sledge hockey team in 2014, and holds a bronze medal from the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. He is the only national sledge hockey team member from British Columbia, and calls Quesnel home.

The team roster was finalized Sunday (Feb. 11) in Toronto.

Gemmell, a defenseman, has been playing on the national sledge hockey team since September 2017, when he was chosen for the 2017/18 team after a selection camp in Calgary.

Seventeen players were then selected from the national team to represent Canada in South Korea.

“Everyone wants one of those spots. But the competition among ourselves makes the team better in the long run,” Gemmell told Black Press in September.

READ MORE: Paralympic medallist named to national sledge hockey team for second time

The team held its final training camp last week in Ontario.

At the press conference in Toronto, head coach Ken Babey said: “It was not an easy decision; our players have pushed each other all year to put us in the best possible position to win a gold medal. We’re excited to get to PyeongChang, put on the Team Canada jersey, and represent our country with pride.” The Team Canada roster includes two goaltenders, six defencemen and nine forwards. Gemmell is the only national sledge hockey team member from British Columbia.

Canada’s Paralympic Hockey Team also features 10 players (Steve Arsenault, Brad Bowden, Billy Bridges, Ben Delaney, Adam Dixon, Quesnel’s James Gemmell, Dominic Larocque, Tyler McGregor, Corbin Watson and Greg Westlake) who brought home the bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia; three players (Bowden, Bridges and Westlake) who captured Canada’s first Paralympic gold medal at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy; and 16 players (Rob Armstrong, Arsenault, Bowden, Bridges, Dominic Cozzolino, Delaney, Dixon, Gemmell, Tyrone Henry, Liam Hickey, Larocque, McGregor, Bryan Sholomicki, Corbyn Smith, Watson and Westlake) who won the gold medal at the 2017 IPC World Para Hockey Championship in Gangneung, South Korea.

When he’s not competing on the national stage, Gemmell owns and operates K9 Boarding Kennels in Quesnel. He also helps run a local sledge hockey fun league.

The 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Games take place March 9-18.

READ MORE: Quesnel sledge hockey players of all levels called to the rink

Sledge hockey opens on Mar. 9, with Canada competing in Group A with Italy, Norway and Sweden.

 

Quesnel’s James Gemmell made the Paralympic hockey team, and will compete in South Korea next month. Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada Images

Just Posted

Date set for Silver Creek man’s bail ruling

Curtis Sagmoen will learn on Feb. 28 if he will be released from custody

Salvation Army shelter renovations pay off

Reconfiguration of beds helps meet shelter’s needs

UPDATE: Serwa second fastest in ski cross seeding

Kelowna ski cross racer has solid run in the seeding round of the women’s ski cross event

Resources for victims of sexual violence to be made available at Hedley concert

A gathering is planned for outside Prospera Place on the date of the concert,

Coldest Night of the Year returns

Last year’s fundraising walk raised $36,847 for local food banks.

Your Feb. 22 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Albas disappointed by Alberta ban of B.C. wine

MP has worked to remove barriers to the sale of wine and other alcohol products between provinces

Crowns asks for more time in Victoria double homicide of young sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

Foster parents needed in Shuswap

Current foster parents retiring, moving on, leaving a gap

Sports coach makes “great strides” in counselling

Peace bond settles charges of assault causing bodily harm in Princeton BC

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team loses first Olympic game in 20 years

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

Voices of Nature reaches elementary students

By Barb Brouwer, Observer contributor Music has the power to touch the… Continue reading

Most Read