The Curling News Blog

New curling calendar now on sale

Another fundraising tool for curling facilities

Celebrate the Roaring Game in all its glory – for some great causes

Celebrate the Roaring Game – and support some great causes

First came the Women of Curling. Then, last season, the Men of Curling.

Now for 2015, The Curling News and The Community Fundraiser have announced the Spirit of Curling, the latest installment in their successful series of fundraising wall calendars.

The 2015 Spirit of Curling Calendar retails online for $20.00 each plus taxes, shipping and handling, at The Spirit of Curling website.

A portion of proceeds from each purchase go to three charitable campaigns: the Canadian Curling Association’s “For The Love of Curling” philanthropic program, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, which has now contributed over $2.5 million to 35 Canadian hospital neonatal intensive care units, and the Canadian Spinal Research Organization’s “Shoot For A Cure” campaign, which amasses research funding to find a cure for spinal paralysis.

“The 2014 Men of Curling Calendar raised more than $100,000 for multiple charities and causes, across Canada and around the world,” said George Karrys, Publisher of The Curling News. “Now, the 2015 Spirit of Curling Calendar will engage curlers and curling fans in a celebration of the tradition, honour and great history of the Roaring Game.”

A special curling facility program is also available, allowing clubs to purchase copies at a discount and re-sell the calendars in the local community for a fundraising profit, to aid in any number of areas – including capital costs, prize funds, and support for junior, bantam or Little Rock programs.

“The 2015 Spirit of Curling Calendar is a great fundraising tool for curling centres across Canada, the United States, Europe and other curling-crazy countries,” said Rick Warner, President of The Community Fundraiser. “Any interested club representatives can call or email, and we will set them up to engage their communities this fall.”

Each calendar is printed on glossy stock and shrink-wrapped, and ships in a protective envelope with a stiff cardboard insert. Each of the 12 calendar months features a comprehensive worldwide curling tournament schedule, listing colour-coded men’s, women’s, mixed and open events.

The Canadian Curling Association also commented on today’s release.

“We’re extremely pleased that this beautiful calendar will play a significant role in continuing the growth of curling in Canada,” said CCA Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “Like For The Love of Curling, the Spirit of Curling puts its focus on the grassroots of the game, while still acknowledging some of the sport’s biggest names and showing their athleticism. And the added bonus is that by buying this calendar, you’re helping young curlers and local curling centres.”

Advance orders for the 2015 Spirit of Curling Calendar are now underway at The Spirit of Curling website, with product shipping in the second week of November.

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Digital + Print = Happy Curling Fans

The Curling News expands its digital curling reach

Kevin Palmer's April/May digital column was a hit

Kevin Palmer’s April/May digital column was a hit with fans

TORONTO – Now into it’s 58th season of publishing, The Curling News has gone digital for the year 2015.

Subscribers will receive all six monthly issues in print format as they have since 1957. However, subscribers will also receive an email message each month directing them to an expanded, enhanced online version of that issue.

Modelled after four one-off digital editions The Curling News has produced since 2012, each digital issue will feature extra pages of content plus enhancements to the editorial and advertising content from the print edition.

Click on a story, and it might launch a webpage which continues the discussion.

Click on a photograph, and it might launch a photo gallery of additional images.

Click on an advertisement, and it might launch an online video.

“The official launch of The Curling News digital subscriber editions marks the end of a lengthy period of research, investigation and preparation,” said George Karrys, owner and publisher of The Curling News since 2003.

“This is what we’ve seen from major publishers around the world, and this is what the curling world has been asking for. At The Curling News, we are pleased to be able to offer these enhanced and expanded content services with no price increase to our advertising partners, and also at no price increase to our valued subscribers.”

The November issue of The Curling News – both print and digital – will be unleashed on or around November 1, and will boast the return of well-known columnists – including sports hall of fame scribe Terry Jones – plus a slew of new contributors, including Matt Brouwer, Andrew Stoakely, Mark Inglis, Stephanie LeDrew and the one and only Randy Ferbey.

NOTE: Each issue’s subscriber log-in name and password access will be provided by an email message; therefore new and current subscribers should ensure The Curling News has their email address on file.

To confirm your email address with The Curling News, send us a direct message through the website CONTACT page.

To subscribe to The Curling News, visit the SUBSCRIBE tab.

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Curling supplier Plays It Forward

Retailer supports curling facilities

See more at

Get more details at:

TORONTO – fUZION Sportswear has already made an impact on the curling scene, as their dye sublimation technology allows teams to go “seamless” with a variety of patterns, designs and logos on their competition wear. They’ve signed up a few top-ranked high-performance squads for their “Ambassador” program, and they are also rumours of replica team competition jackets and shirts hitting the market soon.
Now in their third year on the rock scene, the company has also introduced “Play It Forward”, a new program which delivers value from any player’s purchase decisions back to that player’s home curling facility.
For example, a purchase of four sublimated SMARTFLEX jackets plus four sublimated CIRCULAIR shirts will give your curling club a rebate of CDN $50.00.
With a purchase of four jackets plus eight sublimated shirts, the curling club scores a $100.00 rebate.
“Although we are a new team this year, two of our members were part of a team that wore fUZION uniforms last year,” said Kalie McKenna, a member of Ottawa’s Team Butler-Rohland. “We absolutely loved the fit of the uniforms and the ability to create a custom design. We contacted fUZION for pricing and additional information and that’s when we became aware of Play It Forward, which was just another incentive to wear fUZION apparel this season.”
The squad’s decision to go with Fuzion has already guaranteed a rebate payment to the Rideau Curling Club, the home of Team Butler-Rohland.
“So we look great, we can capitalize on sponsorship opportunities for our team, and we’re giving back to our club,” said McKenna. “I can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t want to be part of Play It Forward.”
fUZION also offers a club program, where jackets and scarves purchased by any facility pro shop – adorned with club logos and even personalized on request – also deliver rebate revenues.
Posters promoting the program (above left) are now in the mail to all 960-odd curling clubs across Canada.
Meanwhile, fUZION Managing Director Jamie Vickerman has also been beating the drum for the new program.
“We’re hoping that curlers of all skill levels, particularly recreational players, will take advantage of this offer and pass the word along at their curling clubs,” said Vickerman. “You can wear what the pros wear, and look great on the ice, and help your clubs as well. The more teams involved, the more funds for your club to receive and use as required. Just contact us for help on your graphic ideas, and let’s get started.”
Poster graphic by fUZION Sportswear (click on image to increase viewing size)

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The Curling News 2014-15

We’re baaaaack!

Team Laycock at the Baden Masters in August

Team Laycock at the Baden Masters in late August

This webpage (including blog) is about to end its silence. Behind the scenes, quietly active for many months, The Curling News has been assembling a new army of product and talent that is almost – ALMOST – ready to be unleashed on the curling world.

We’re excited, and we know you will be, too. You’ll just have to hang in there a wee bit longer, and then *boom*… all shall be revealed.

For now, we once again invite you to check out the digital version of our previous April issue (which can be considered a May/June release) and all its digital extras. This includes a complete 2013-14 season-ending Gold Trial money list, an entertaining dissertation on the five-rock rule (now officially implemented for all five Grand Slams this season), an extra six pages of Photos of The Year and a great summary of the gaggle of team lineup changes that stunned us last spring.

Plus, each page of the original print edition has been digitally enhanced to launch extra photo galleries, videos and website links. It’s a curling clickfest for your fingers!

And the shortlink for sharing, if you’re interested, is:

It won’t be long (yeah/yeah/yeah)…

The Curling News photo by Urs Räber (click on image to increase size)

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Morris announces curling sabbatical – perhaps

No Mo Johnny… unless…

John Morris has spoken.

The finalist from both the Brier and the Canadian Olympic Trials has issued a statement today on his immediate curling future, and here it is:

This ad appears in our April issue

After a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided to take a step back from the game of curling next year.

I had the tremendous pleasure of playing with three great, genuine teammates in Jim Cotter, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky as we made it farther than I think anyone would have predicted for a team playing its first year together. You were all amazing, as was our coach, Pat Ryan, and our alternates Jody Epp and Jason Gunnlaugson.

I am extremely proud of our squad for what we accomplished, and would like to thank my guys for helping me recover my passion and heart for the game of curling, and for providing me with one of the most memorable years in my career.

I will be taking some time off to pursue an educational course that I’ve been wanting to take for a few years now, as well as to secure a career in the fire service. If our team happens to be awarded the default Team Canada berth at the Brier next year, then I will consider coming back to play a light schedule.

Thank you to all our true fans, friends, sponsors and to all of our families for being there every inch of the way and showing us the support we needed to almost make the improbable happen!


[This Team Morris advertisement appears in the April 2014 issue of The Curling News; click on the image to increase viewing size]

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Team Shuffle 2015: Disrespect for the Brier?

Koe blows up team – before the worlds

By George Karrys

From yellow to purple (with apologies to both)

Okay, the annual team shuffle didn’t really begin today. There have been team lineup changes for next season that have been announced already, with one of the bigger ones ones coming well before the STOH (Team Kelly Scott disbanding) and this one fairly recently.

But today’s triple reveal is a whopper, and for very big reasons.

While watching daughter Carly Howard compete at the Canadian University championships in Regina, Glenn Howard confirmed to the Regina Leader-Post that his longtime second Brent Laing is moving to Alberta, and will compete next year with Team Kevin Koe.

We spilled it on Twitter and there was the expected reaction. But then came word that Kevin Martin‘s longtime front end of Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert, Olympic champions all back in 2010, have split from Martin and joined Team Koe, too.

All of this is big news in any curling year, but this is particularly stunning given a couple of facts.

First off, Team Koe is also Team Canada, newly-crowned Brier champs (Koe, Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen) and soon headed to the worlds in Beijing. Second, thanks to the new Brier (and STOH) format changes, that Team Koe was already pre-qualified for next year’s Brier in Calgary as Team Canada.

If Laing had constituted the only team change, that meant someone else was out, from a Brier championship team, whether he would soon be leaving of his own accord or soon be released. But now, given these seismic changes, the skip of the defending Brier champion team has just forfeited his 2015 Brier berth. In the very first year of the berth taking effect.


It’s pretty much unprecedented that news of such team changes are revealed this early, before a squad departs to wear the Maple Leaf at the worlds. It’s also utterly wild to think that numerous players have actually considered – with one now deciding – to give up a confirmed berth in the Brier.

This leaves Simmons, Rycroft and Thiessen with some thinking to do. If they stick together an add a fourth, they keep the Brier’s Team Canada berth, despite the absence of Koe – or so we think?

However, Rycroft has already declared his intention to retire or at least take the 2015 season off from competition – will that now change? Simmons, we know, has maintained a business and residence in Alberta for three years now – does he want to return home to Saskatchewan?

If Koe is willing to take a pass at a Brier berth, how many other high-performance curling athletes are?

Yes. Many are boggled.

This is what we’re getting at. A few years ago, all this would be unthinkable. The Brier was a huge, huge championship curling event – the biggest, bar none, of which every Canadian male curler dreamed about.

Nowadays, and the ongoing Team Koe machinations prove this, the Brier’s primary function – as far as the nation’s top teams are concerned – is merely to provide a qualifying route into the Olympic Trials.

And indeed, 2015 is the (non-Olympic qualifying) season where unusual team moves might be made – such as Koe’s stunning changes… such as John Morris (Brier finalist, and next in line – we assume – to get the Brier berth) either taking the year off or relocating to the B.C. coast (both are rumours, by the way)… and such as Richard Hart returning to play third for Team Howard on a one-year, fun-filled farewell tour (another rumour, folks).

All of this boggles the veteran curling mind. Since when have we seen the legacy of the Brier so – what’s the word we’re looking for – disrespected, however unintentionally this may be intended, by the top high-performance competitors in the land?

And how does this help the Canadian Curling Association challenge various opinions that are swirling about, everything from “relegation sucks” (see the upcoming April issue of The Curling News) to the Association’s present high-performance event focus being a dangerous game (see “Are the Olympics killing curling?” on the cover of our November 2013 issue and also “What the Olympics and Slams have done to Competitive Curling” by Mike Fournier at a later date online)? Not to mention obvious problems within the CCA’s own house, represented by the six-months-and-counting conflict with its Ontario member organization?

Disrespect is, I admit, a pretty strong word, even if couched by “unintentional”, and it’s one the top competitors would never use nor intend to. But the question remains: Is this continuing decline of the Brier brand really the cost of doing business in this 21st century world of curling – a world in which our sport, like many others, is changing at a rapid pace?

Perhaps. But the mind still boggles.

What on earth could be next, lurking ’round the curling corner?

[Composite Laing/Koe image by Gary Darakjian; original Sportsnet images by Anil Mungal]

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RIP Neil Harrison, Legend of Curling

Joy for life, love of the game

Too young, too soon

By George Karrys

TORONTO – Just back from the amazing spectacle that was the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and I get a call from Peter Steski: Harry has died.

Neil “Harry” Harrison had been in poor health for some time now, and to be frank, the man they called the World’s Greatest Lead – to no dissent, by the way – wasn’t expected to survive much past Christmas in December. This was a bitter pill to swallow, given how well he recovered from his first bout with illness back in early 2007.

However, repeat visits from friends including fellow 1983 world champion teammates Ed “The Wrench” Werenich and Paul Savage – plus curling firefighter buddies like Frank McCourt – clearly lifted his spirits and kept him fighting through to the end of the Games. That’s a great way to think about this tragedy, at any rate.

Harry was the prototype for the perfect team player, and a model to all who aspire to “carry the brooms” for the other three guys (okay, no one aspires to do that). He was also the secret weapon for Savage and Werenich’s pioneering approach to the game, which involved attacking opponents with corner guards, a strategy that shocked opponents who were still following scripture in the curling bible – western Canada’s bang-bang hitting game. Harry zipped his stones behind those guards with a millimetre to spare, every time, always above the tee-line and regardless of the ice conditions.

An artist, rather than a technician? You’re darned right… and Harry was one of the best.

The icing on the Harry curling cake was his joy for life and his sheer love of the sport, and love for his fellow curling men and women. If you couldn’t find him in a crowded Patch or hospitality suite, you just listened for that laugh – a howling cackle – and followed the bursts of laughter that followed. There would be Harry, holding court around a crowded table, standing-room only.

Before his health struggles, Harry was giving back to the game as a coach, and this came after he showed off some serious journo skills as a columnist for the late SWEEP! Magazine. We blogged about one of his columns back in 2008 because Harry, God bless him, really told it like it was.

There will be many, many Harry curling stories told today, tomorrow and in the weeks and months to come, for his passing is sure to cause emotional tremors just like those that occurred last year, when his good friend Shorty Jenkins took his pebble can into the skies.

And just as we did then, we invite one and all to type away below this space, in the Comments section, and tell us your stories involving Harry. These are stories that deserve to be told and remembered among all those who love The Roaring Game.

We miss you already, Harry.

[Graphic by George Elliott courtesy of Peterborough and District Sports Hall of Fame. Used by permission.]

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Sochi 2014: Curling gold for Canada

From streaming thoughts to screaming joy

by Mike McEwen

Skipper stepped up today – GOLDEN!

SOCHI, RUSSIA – It’s medal time baby!

Speaking of finals, after 11 days we’ve FINALLY got the walk from Canada Olympic House to the Ice Cube perfected! It’s sunny and +18C out, the shades on, we’ve got Molsons (plural) to go, and the barbeque is lit (the Olympic flame, LOL)!

• Same pep talk with Dawn as the day before. Does she need to be better than she was in that semi? Easy text conversation went like this: “Imagine I’m saying the exact same things as yesterday” …  sort of like that Netflix football commercial!

• First end: A couple of half shots from us and a few good shots from the Swedes and it’s a steal situation. But… great first throw from Jen and forced Sweden away from just guarding! 1-0 CAN… phew!

• Second end: Well played end from Canada. SWE fourth makes two last shot beauties to get her single. All tied.

• Third end: Trevor delivers ice cream… Kyle Paquette (CCA lead sport psych) and I are finally silent for a bit, haha! Good end, but the result is a blank. Still 1-1.

• Fourth end: Dawn starts the end well with a corner guard and then a freeze. Jill rattles things around and a simple deuce situation opens up. Kaitlyn makes great line call and Team Canada finishes the end off with a draw for two!

• Note on the fourth end: SWE did have a double but missed calling it thin (option B) versus just watching the jam happen – a bit of a mental error.

• Fifth end: Yikes! My hands are seriously trembling writing this! SWE had a fairly easy nose double for four – three minimum. Somehow, though, they threw it just off line enough to only get two! Bullet dodged! 3-3 at the mid-game point.

• Sixth end: I decide I’m shaky from being both nervous and cold. Extra layer goes on. Sweden goes in and we hit. Blank end, and a quick one.

• Seventh end: Kyle talks too much… and this allows me to talk too much… quite unlike Devlin‘s quiet, wired-mouth ways. I’m having trouble keeping up with the thinking and typing, haha! SWE makes a big strategy error this end, and throws it in instead of guarding. I was going to say “in my opinion”, but stats back this one up 100 per cent. This allows Canada to execute another blank.

• Eighth end: Great call Jen, and nicely executed tick shot by Dawn. Two corner guards are set up and minimal risk of steal situation. After a great freeze on Jen’s first, her draw for two comes up just light (and a measure was required to confirm the single). A pretty good end to score in, regardless of how many. 4-3 for CAN.

LOL! Awesome! #burn

• Ninth end: I’m soooo thirsty and chewing nervously on some gum! Not really quenching. CAN in trouble early, but a pick on SWE helps our cause. Still not out of the woods though with lots of clutter for Sweden to freeze too. I HATE being a fan… well, hate is a strong word, but I dislike this knot in my stomach! However, after a miscue on a SWE draw (heavy) CAN is now on the offensive. Great last shot by CAN skipper, swept and called perfectly! SWE forced into tough shot, facing a steal of two and… they rack on their own in the top of the house! 6-3 lead for Canada, coming home!!

• 10th end: Dawn throws two beauties – throw throughs, that is! Jilly and Kaitlyn make both their peels. What shot do you want to win an Olympic gold medal? How about make contact on your first stone!?!? Jen sets herself in the hack (twice) and simply makes it… now let the fist-pumping and jumping begin!!

Gutsy win, girls! Deserved and earned. Tomorrow I’m hoping for the same thing for our men. Double gold for curling is in sight!

Canadian Olympic House… look out, here come the families!

[Action photo copyright The Curling News ® by Anil Mungal. Click on images to increase viewing size]

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Sochi 2014: CAN vs GBR women’s semi

 More event blogstreaming – PLAYOFFS!

Might as well jump – JUMP!

by Mike McEwen in Sochi, Russia

• Pep talk this morning with Dawn… she’s ready! √
• Avoid the instant coffee and down a couple quick presses √
• Jam-packed and sweaty 25-minute bus ride to Olympic park √
• Despite the “hot-box” bus ride, it’s a cooler but still sunny day. Ice-maker should like! √
• Brisk two kilometre walk to COH √
• Couple of quick “nerve calming” barley sandwiches √
• Make it slightly early for the game :)
• Big break in first end – and a gimme deuce! √
• One more thing on the checklist today – WIN!

• I see the mother-in-law has brought out a high-pitched cowbell today. I think I’ll still be hearing it for weeks…! #earsringing #hearingloss

• Skipper has her weight early. 3-0 after two ends!
• Gave Team GBR one of those “unforced-error” deuces back. 3-2 CAN after three ends…

• Interesting watching GBR use their stopwatches to time everything – even hits for both teams. I’m not a huge fan of stopwatch reliance; I prefer players to “see it and feel it.”

• Make your second shot. Skipper, Jen, does just that in fourth. I liked the in-turn draw… she made the out-turn hit perfectly! 4-2 CAN after four…
• Good force in fifth! Nice first half CAN ladies! Straightforward curling and nothing too complicated (as has the SWE-SUI semifinal through five ends). Four to three for CAN at the half.

• Leaned over to Jill’s hubby, Devlin, and asked how he’s enjoying this. We both agreed “this sucks” and we’re looking forward to some post-game relief!

• Jen makes good draw to the four-foot for a single point. 5-3 CAN through six ends.
• Noticing a few of us fans with “Olympic colds”. Crossing my fingers, but in all likelihood I’ll be bringing one home!
• Error on GBR’s lead stones (hit and rolled out of play). Blank end in the seventh.
• Dawn setting up start of the ends great! Ask for four-foot, ask for 12 foot, and ye shall receive. This is contributing to Team Canada’s ability to reduce any clutter so far.
• I think we are over-icing some of those “inside out” hits – those eight-foot tracks can get pretty straight late in games on arena ice.

• Two good doubles, one by Kaitlyn and one by JJ and out of trouble! Blank in eighth strategically a big benefit. 5-3 CAN after eight ends.
• Dawn sets up ninth perfectly! :) Peel, peel, peel, ladies! Blank is good, force GBR to one even better, or worst case giving up two – not that bad.
• Kaitlyn with another good double! Looks like another blank coming our way… but wait, we get a light freeze attempt from Eve and force them to take a point! One up coming home with the brick! 5-4 CAN after nine ends…

Where’s Mike? Oh, there. Calm as a cucumber…

• Parents are nervous… I can feel it too! Get me to the Patch (COH)!
• Okay Dawn… the order up is for two ticks! Plated and served!!!!
• One of the parents mentioned Dawn is eight for eight on tick shots this tournament! Phhh, I mean I knew that already, LOL! Impressive!
Jilly makes two nice double peels. Skipper should have no worse than open draw to the four-foot for Velcro time! I like that!
• Eeee… I like the easy double-peel on Kaitlyn’s. Have a feeling it’s still going to be a draw to four-foot for the win, but against the loss and with no hit option on GBR stones!
• I need to take a breather… hands getting a little shaky typing!

• Devlin tells me to be quiet… I’m talking and he’s internalizing. We handle stress differently!
• This is one way to check if you’re alive! Can feel the pressure!
WOOOO! Great throw, judging, and sweeping! It’s medal time Team Canada women… time to go golden! 6-4 CAN final score!

• BTW , I think this semifinal in this playoff structure is more stressful than the final coming up tomorrow (will confirm that soon enough)!
• Okay, watching last few shots of SWE/SUI game. Wow, pretty straightforward split for two and the win for Ott and she gasses it! Swedes were lucky to win that one. Let’s hope their luck has run out, or better yet, luck won’t be enough to beat Team Canada!

• Great chat with Trevor Wall. He noted the team aspect of Jen’s final shot. The cleaning of the rock for half of the shot, no panic, and then sweeping to place it the final one-third of the sheet. Impressed by not just Jen, but the whole team’s handle on pressure; great focus by all! Let’s finish this this ladies… you deserve it, now go and earn it!

• Peace out… It’s #molsontime…

[Photos are copyright The Curling News ® by Anil Mungal – click on images to increase viewing size]

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Sochi 2014: Outside the Ice Cube

Extended curling family tales

by Mike McEwen

The cute couple, oot and aboot

SOCHI, RUSSIA – Curling takes up a big part of the Olympics. In fact, it’s a competition that spans 12 days… starting three days after opening ceremonies and ending only two days before the closing! That means a lot of our time is spent inside the Olympic Park, Canada Olympic House and consumed along the transportation routes within the Adler and Sochi areas. Unless you like Khosta (north along the coast from Adler), where taking the wrong bus home will take you there.

Sorry to those who followed my lead that night… oops!

However, we’ve actually been able to experience a heck of a lot outside of the Ice Cube (curling venue) and a significant portion, I’m delighted to say, with Team Jennifer Jones. Speaking of ice cubes, it’s a make-your-own-ice kind of world here (don’t worry, we’re surviving)!

I initially thought the Team Canada curling ladies could be on “lockdown” so I’m glad we get to do some of this stuff together. Canada Olympic House is a great place to hang out with the added bonus of a dedicated concierge for purchasing tickets – because beer, food, and snacks are not enough! As well, lucky family and friends sometimes snag last minute freebie event tickets should you be lounging around at the right times!

Zzzzzz… sort of

Quality lounging and napping? See the Team Jacobs girls in the photo at left (I warned ‘em this was coming!)…

We’ve managed to hit up a few hockey games, some of us taking in all three of the Canadian men’s hockey round-robin games. The girls joined us for the Canada vs Finland game, and because of them I’m sure the cameras found us in the crowd!

Despite how good our seats were, don’t you think Anil Mungal, curling’s photog superstar, has the best seat? (third pic).

Last night, Trevor Wall and I escaped quickly after the awkward Canada/Korea curling handshakes. And I say awkward because there was a significant delay before shaking, when Korea was down five with one end to go and looked to be playing until they were run out of rocks! I actually think they might of been unsure whether they could concede early or not. Gotta love curling for being able to say “I’m beat” and ready to throw in the towel!

So, Trevor and I caught the last two periods of the women’s hockey semifinals, Canada vs. Switzerland. How good was the Swiss goalie to keep that one close (3-1)… impressive! Thanks also to the friendly Americans who stopped by COH to see if anyone would like to accompany them that night!

(How’d he get that spot?! – Ed.)

On one of the many warm sunny days we’ve had here in Sochi, we hopped on the train up to the mountains. On the one hour smooth ride up you get an appreciation for the amount of money sunk into roadworkand other infrastructure… a highway up to the mountain cluster, pretty much all bridged – suspended – in the air. Seriously. There’s eight of your $52 billion right there!

Met up with Team Jones, did a quick tour of the Rosa Khutor mountain village, and stopped in at a smaller version of COH for the mountain cluster. Two long streets of shops, restaurants, hotels, and cafes line the Mzymta River. Pretty unbelievable what they’ve built up here… now they just need the snow! So, to get to some of that white stuff, we needed to climb higher…

We hopped on a gondola ride up the mountain and then had a decent-sized hike to the Extreme Park. Not really an easy jaunt! A lot of stairs, slush, and loose rock paths and that meant another day of sore calves and feet the following day. The husbands (myself, Brent, Devlin and Trevor) stayed for many hours and caught most of the snowboard half-pipe action. Except for Brent… we’ll go with “he was cold” or something and left early… haha!

I take lots of front end pics, eh?

Next up for us “off” the curling beat? Well, it was tiebreaker day and none to speak of in the women’s bracket. Somewhat surprising that 5-4 got you straight into the playoffs, don’t you think?

Haven’t yet seen the shot GBR’s David Murdoch made to beat The Pants in the sole men’s tiebreaker, but I hear it was a beauty (and here you go – Ed.)

Three days of exciting curling playoff action is coming up, along with a few tickets to the last day of short-track speed skating.

Today, all of the Team Canada curling supporters have a chill day off. Many will probably be walking the Adler boardwalk, stop for a scenic bevy along the Black Sea (if you’re lucky, see some dolphins swimming… or unlucky and catch a big man in a little suit taking a cold dip) and get some souvenir shopping done. Among other things.

Also, I simply cannot forget tonight’s birthday dinner for my mother-in-law, Jane Askin… Happy Birthday!!!

[Photos by Mike McEwen – click on images to increase size]

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