Great Britain's David Melrose fell out of his wheelchair and off the ice rink during the curling round robin match against Canada in Beijing
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Team GB paralympic curler David Melrose is taken to hospital with a shoulder injury after the former firefighter fell out of his wheelchair and off the ice during a match against Canada at the Beijing Games

  • David Melrose was playing for Team GB against Canada at Winter Paralympics
  • His wheelchair became caught on edge of the ice rink and toppled over
  • Melrose suffered a shoulder injury and was taken to hospital for treatment
  • Gary Smith replaced Melrose in the Great Britain team but they lost 6-3 

A Team GB curler suffered a shoulder injury after falling out of his wheelchair during a Winter Paralympics match against Canada in Beijing.

David Melrose was taken to hospital ‘for medical assessment’ after the nasty fall when his wheel appeared to get jammed at the edge of the ice rink.

The former firefighter, from Duns in the Scottish borders, was said to be in good spirits despite being carried out of the curling venue on a stretcher.

The round robin match on Wednesday was tied at 2-2 after four ends when the incident happened, with the game delayed by 15 minutes as Melrose received medical treatment.

Officials frantically checked the edge of the rink after Melrose’s chair appeared to tip off the edge of the playing surface as he reached for a delivery stick.

Great Britain's David Melrose fell out of his wheelchair and off the ice rink during the curling round robin match against Canada in Beijing

Great Britain’s David Melrose fell out of his wheelchair and off the ice rink during the curling round robin match against Canada in Beijing

Melrose toppled over while reaching for a delivery stick and fell out of his wheelchair

Melrose toppled over while reaching for a delivery stick and fell out of his wheelchair

The former firefighter from the Scottish borders was taken to hospital for further treatment

The former firefighter from the Scottish borders was taken to hospital for further treatment

A statement from Paralympics GB read: ‘David has been taken to hospital for medical assessment after falling out of his wheelchair.

‘He’s conscious and was accompanied to the hospital by a British Curling team nurse and physio after receiving initial treatment at the venue. Get well soon, David.’

The CBC News reporter Devin Heroux tweeted: ‘Just finished a conversation with GB coach Sheila Swan who tells me British second David Melrose suffered a shoulder injury when he fell off his chair during 4th end break.

‘He’s in great spirits. A great update. Was an unsettling scene here as he was taken away on a stretcher.’

Gary Smith replaced Melrose in the Britain team but they went on to lose the match 6-3, meaning they have now won three and lost four of their seven round robin matches.

Melrose is competing in his first Winter Paralympics for Great Britain out in Beijing, China

Melrose is competing in his first Winter Paralympics for Great Britain out in Beijing, China

The match on Wednesday was delayed by 15 minutes so the stricken Melrose could be treated

The match on Wednesday was delayed by 15 minutes so the stricken Melrose could be treated

The team now needs to win their three remaining games to stand a chance of reaching the semi-finals. 

Skip Hugh Nibloe said afterwards: ‘It did affect us we are a close-knit bunch and it’s never easy to see anyone you care about taken away on a stretcher. The most important thing is that he is ok.

‘Outwardly I felt ok, but subconsciously there was few times I know my mind slips thinking ‘I hope he is ok’.

He was carried away from the Ice Cube arena on a stretcher and received hospital treatment

He was carried away from the Ice Cube arena on a stretcher and received hospital treatment

Melrose (left) pictured with Team GB colleagues Meggan Dawson-Farrell and Gregor Ewan

Melrose (left) pictured with Team GB colleagues Meggan Dawson-Farrell and Gregor Ewan

‘David being well is the best thing, I would rather come off the ice hearing he is well with a loss than the other way round, and it means I can still have a smile on my face now.’

Melrose is appearing in his first Winter Paralympics. He was left paralysed from the waist down after being struck by a falling steel beam while tackling a fire back in 2010.

It took seven months to recover from his injuries before the keen sportsman took up curling in 2018 and was part of the team that won world championship silver in Stirling the following year.

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