Nomes ondulando brazilian grandes

We’re feeling kind of silly today, and faithful readers know that this means – brace yourself, and get ready for anything.

So, on that note, here (at left) is what Randy Ferbey’s soccer jersey would look like.

If he was Brazilian.

Yup. There’s now a website, located here, that claims to instantly change your name to the single-word nickname that makes Brazilian athletes famous.

The four-time world curling champion would like this, we think. The translation is roughly “Big Ferb” and moreover, his team checked out a Real Madrid game, live at The Bernabéu, a couple of years ago. Of course, that’s in Spain where they speak Spanish, whereas Brazillians, who are located on another continent, speak Portuguese.

But we digress.

Ferbey might also like the fact that arch-rival Kevin Martin’s Brazilian name is the same as Brazil’s greatest female footy athlete, whose team lost the women’s World Cup final yesterday.

We plugged in some other famous curling labels, and got multiple options when we doubled up on first or last names. A sampling:

Guy Hemmings – Hemmão or Hemminho
Colleen Jones – Collealdo Santos or Colleson Pau
Jennifer Jones – Jonisco or Jennifaldo
Wayne/Sherry Middaugh – Middacos or Middaaldo
Wes Richardson – Wa or Werto
Bob “Pee Wee” Pickering – Pee Weandro or Bildo
Vera Pezer – Verito or Pezildo
Andy Kapp – Io or Kio Santos
Elisabet Gustafson – Gustafsimo or Elisaba
Ed Werenich – Ildo or Werenaldo
Paul Savage – Paildo or Savagaça
Neil Harrison – Neundo or Neimo
Brad Gushue – Brildo or Gushuson
Jamie Korab – Jamildo or Korildo
Pål Trulsen – Pildo or Trulsimo Peres
Kelly Scott – Kildo or Scildo
Glenn Howard – Gla or Howinhosa
Richard Hart – Hisco Da Costa or Hinho

Even the famous flying Finn – Markku Uusipavaalniemi – gained a few letters, as his monikers came up as “Uusipaavalniemico” or “Uusipaavalnieminho” (M-17 or M-18).

Okay, okay… back to curling.

• Speaking of M-15, his appearance in this story on “former Finnish sporting legends” just two years after Turin may or may not stick in his craw, depending on his intentions for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Suffice to say it would be great to see Uusis back on the ice in Vancouver, and also on the podium, if only to push the word “former” aside. For another year or two, anyway …

Predictions are that Wednesday will see Victoria, BC named as the host city for the 2009 STOH …

• The latest on the Windsor CC sees one of the punks make a court appearance; items like championship banners and the Tankard are lost forever; and now two levels of government – one federal – have pledged to help rebuild the club, inspiring this vow from the club president.

Hmph… it would have been nice to see that kind of commitment from politicians in north Toronto (Avonlea closure), Winnipeg (Thistle arson job) and other cities. Right?

Some good news, however: as it turns out, an ancient inter-club curling trophy was saved, although writer Monty Mosher tells The Curling News that one aspect of the tale has since proved inaccurate: the trophy was actually in a safe elsewhere in Windsor; the prized record books were in New Brunswick …

• Speaking of ancient awards, the Yester CC in Scotland embarked on a missing trophy search that dated back to 1879, and found success …

• The Welsh Dragons won a shocker yesterday to defeat Denmark in the final of the European Mixed, and kudos to Curling Today for some great day-by-day coverage. This local observer even labelled the Scottish outfit the “semiofficial” blog of the tournament!

One of the teams – the Dutch – also kept a fairly active blog, but there was also a bit of media coverage of this event, from AP photographers to media in the host city of Madrid; in Hungary (here and here); in Slovakia (here and here); and even in Estonia.

As for the locals, there were many blogposts expressing curiosity – ¿Qué es el Curling? – and we’ve spotlighted some of them, located here… and here… and here… and here… and yet another here… and and even this short vidclip, too …

• Congrats to Thunder Bay’s Bill Charlebois on his induction into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame last Friday night. In his present role as the Dutch national curling coach, he was unable to attend …

• This past weekend’s tour stop in Vernon saw Bob Ursel win the men’s crown while Calgary’s Heather Rankin upset city rival Shannon Kleibrink in the women’s final. Kleibrink had upset Kelly Scott in the semis. No B.C. teams made the playoffs, which also saw teams from the U.S. and Switzerland qualify …

• In Selkirk, eight teams are into tonight’s semis at the McMillan Insurance Classic

• How would you, as a spiel organizer, like to have a field like this confirmed a full six months prior to your event? We bet you would …

• Meanwhile, this coming weekend will see some decent names duke it out in New Westminster …

• The new Pheasant Classic field is also quite good, but they’ve booked CanRock legends Prizm to play the Saturday night. Now you’re talkin’ …

• This bitter and twisted rant against curling is a couple of years old, but just came to our attention now. Of course, it’s not funny, which is the biggest sin the writer actually made …

• See, now this is actually funny. That’s how you do it …

• Brampton, Ontario’s growing junior spiel now has 48 teams (including Quebeckers and Americans), a prize purse of $12,000, and some new sponsors to boot …

The Chicks won’t be in Brampton, but they were in nearby Oakville over the weekend …

• A couple of ex-Junior stars have joined forces in Thunder Bay …

• Look at this… it’s a rare bird, otherwise knows as a promotional curling media story from Quebec! Hopefully there will be more of these as the first Grand Chelem draws closer

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Yes indeed, curlers are whiners

Well, well… what have we here?

Winnipeg is in an uproar today as the internal news of Asham’s cancellation of that city’s major Asham World Curling Tour event has now exploded into the public forum (also located here).

The Curling Show was quick to get Arnold Asham himself on the horn, and while there are varying reasons why the event has been cancelled, there is one idea percolating which The Curling News must sadly agree with: curlers – in particular the competitive breed – are indeed among the biggest whiners in the world of sports.

This phenomenon has actually been discussed in some major boardrooms of the sport, and many believe it’s a simple consequence of the very nature of curling as a self-managed and self-policed sport.

Think about it. Opposite to most other amateur or professional sports, curlers are somehow permitted to:

• “hire” and “fire” their own team members
• operate with or without a coach or alternate, if they so choose
• police their own game, except at various provincial, national and world championships

This is so ingrained into the sport of curling – and so alien a concept to so many other sports – that curlers reading this are probably getting hot under the collar at the phrase “permitted to.”

In many other sports, even the equivalent of a top curling skip is told – by various sport coaches, managers, owners and/or bureaucrats – what to do and when to do it. And what’s more, you’ll darned well like it, mister!

Even the nature of the curling governance structure lends credence to this concept. Some other sport leaders would shake their heads if told that Canada’s national curling association is merely an umbrella organization, with limited to non-existent power to actually direct the strategy and activities of the provincial associations.

And you can rest assured their jaws are still lying on the floor, two years later, over the public spectacle of irate curling fans forcing that governing body to tear up a multi-year television contract and redo the entire thing… by unleashing a torrent of bad press and even going so far as to threaten sponsors.

From an outside-the-sport perspective, you’ve gotta be kidding!

In this context, curlers get away with murder when compared to other athletes in other sports and will obviously not hesitate to bray loudly if something irks them.

What is tragic is the curler’s tendency to bray the loudest when his or her competitive team is adversely affected by a given situation. It’s hard to ignore the level of selfishness that often ingrains itself into such a self-governed sport.

Then again, curlers still aren’t “paid” very much for their services, are they?

Or aren’t they?

And is that not an entirely different kettle of fish?

Or not?


The Curling Show also has a segment with icemaking madman Shorty Jenkins

• In Brockville, Glenn Howard beat Brad Gushue to win the Shorty Jenkins Classic, in a repeat of the Brier final result from last March. Reigning champ Kevin Martin lost the semi to Howard, while Wayne Middaugh’s super-team with Jon Mead and Graeme McCarreland Ian Tetley and Scott Bailey – lost the quarterfinal to Howard. Russ who?

On the women’s side, Debbie McCormick most enjoyed the vibrant Canadian dollar, as her Team USA upended Quebec’s Eve Bélisle in the final match …

• In Galt/Cambridge, the BDO Galt Classic was a big hit in the shopping mall and on Rogers Television… at least the men’s final, as Darryl Prebble surprised Mike Harris with a 6-5 victory for the championship, which was also The Battle For Scarborough (Prebble represents Scarborough Golf Club, while Harris appears to be back at neighboring Tam Heather).

The women’s final was a dud as Julie Reddick made it two spiels in a row with a 13-5 bombing of Colleen Madonia, but Hollie Nicol’s junior team from Kitchener-Waterloo impressed by losing the semi-final to Reddick by a 7-6 count.

“After losing, we said give us five minutes and we’ll be happy with the weekend,” Nicole told The Record. “Our goal was to make the playoffs, and we did that.”

• Over in Edmonton, the locals must be smarting over the fact that a couple of visiting teams waltzed into their town, kicked everyone’s butt and left with the big cash. Bingyu Wang of China crushed Glenys Bakker of Calgary 8-1 in the Boston Pizza women’s final, while Saskatchewan’s Pat Simmons beat Kelly Row, Randy Ferbey and then Brent MacDonald to win the men’s cheque

• The same thing happened over in Norway, as Canadian invaders took out their European opposition at the Radisson SAS Oslo Cup. Edmonton’s Kevin Koe took out the perhaps-not-so-retired Pål Trulsen 7-2 to win the men’s crown, while Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones defeated Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson 7-6 in an all-Canuck women’s final. A couple of Scottish teams, skipped by Kelly Wood and Claire Milne, made the semis.

• The second Grand Slam of Curling event has been announced, and once again the small Cape Breton city of Port Hawkesbury will play host to The National, this time running Dec. 20-23.

“Having the Grand Slam of Curling returning to Port Hawkesbury for a third consecutive year is a tribute to the local community, businesses, volunteers and organizers as each group has been instrumental in making The National such a success,” said Port Hawkesbury Mayor Billy Joe MacLean. “We’re looking forward to hosting the top curling teams from Canada, the United States and Europe in late December and this prestigious world class event will serve as a welcomed early holiday gift for the residents of Port Hawkesbury.”

The Grand Slam events feature a pile of Canada’s top men’s squads including Martin, The National’s defending champion, along with Ferbey, Gushue, Glenn Howard and 2003 Tylenol Players’ Champion Jeff Stoughton.

The top 15 Canadian men’s teams, along with two European squads and one entry from the United States of America, will compete in The National. A complete list of participating teams will be announced in November …

BalancePlus has sent out a cool notice summarizing the “Battle of the Brushes” this past weekend; ie. they’ve just announced the teams wielding their new tapered blue and orange BalancePlus brushes this season: Teams Harris and Peter Corner (semi-finalist in Brockville) and also Team Sherry Middaugh (lost semis at Galt).

These teams will help BalancePlus raise funds for Prostate Cancer Research via an end-of-year auction of each brushe, which will be covered in autographs. The funds raised from the auction will be split between Prostate Cancer Research and the Canadian Paraplegic Association.

BP’s pink brushes, now widely available, will continue as a fundraiser for Breast Cancer. You can add to the support by purchasing one of these charity-connected items today …

• Finally, a sad occurrence in Japan over the weekend …

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2007-08 Season Launch

The curling season is underway.

In fact, this was first declared by the Scots – who have the divine right to make such a declaration, we say – back on September 3, but it really hit home on Sunday, as the results of the first major cash tournament of the year came in.

Item number one on both the World Curling Tour Europe and the Asham World Curling Tour was Switzerland’s Baden Masters, and 2006 Olympic winner Brad Gushue is the champion (photo by Urs Raeber). The new Gushues defeated recent Ford World runner-up Andy Kapp of Germany in the final, 5-4 in an extra end (the ninth), while Switzerland’s Andi Schwaller and Bernard Werthemann both lost in the semis. Big names also made the quarterfinals, in the person(s) of Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud and Scotland’s David Murdoch.

“Because we didn’t have any ice going into the event we didn’t know what to expect,” Gushue told The Curling News. “We’re excited to get off to a such a good start.”

A big announcement occurred in Atlantic Canada just moments ago, as the World Curling Federation made it official: the 2009 Ford World Men’s Championship will be hosted in Moncton, New Brunswick, April 4-12 of that year.

It will mark the 51st world men’s titleshoot, and follows Moncton’s legacy of hosting grand events, for the world (1980 Silver Broom) for Canada (1985 Brier) and for those who love money (1990 Moncton 100)… and 50th anniversary celebrations should be in full swing, as recently proposed by curling legend Doug Maxwell shortly before his death. The same Doug Maxwell who, incidentally, was the major architect of the Moncton 100, amongst his many, many sporting accomplishments.

We’ll have a full report on Maxwell’s recent memorial service, including thoughts from some of the many curling heavyweights who journeyed to the service, in the first print edition of The Curling News, coming out in late October. We invite you to subscribe, naturally.

And to anyone who dares think the 09 Worlds might not be a spectacular event, you are forgetting the mayor of Moncton is former CCA President Lorne Mitton. And that the current WCF President, Les Harrison, lives about 10 minutes away from the arena. And that the current CCA Vice-President is also a New Brunswicker.

Clearly, New Brunswick is well on its way to becoming the new epicentre of curling power. What’s next… will a prominent curling internet wizard, for example, relocate to some beachfront property near Fredericton? Could happen, but who knows. We’re just speculating.

Elsewhere, the curling news has been piling up …

• Here’s a closer look at Niagara Falls native Greg Stremlaw, the new CCA CEO …

• Is British Columbia’s Salmon Valley CC in trouble?

• Two members of the USA Senior Women’s team recently engaged in a new business startup – their own bank

• Curling has returned to Salt Lake City, as the Wasatch Curling Club’s Friday league – and Learn To Curl sessions – will wrap up soon, after September 21. Location is the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns …

• Sounds like Midland, Minnesota will be getting a new curling club… while the Green Bay CC in Wisconsin is celebrating its 50th anniversary …

• Remember the 2002 Worlds in Bismark, North Dakota? Their local media has gone bonkers over their one-in-three chance to host the 2009 U.S. Nationals, which will also serve as the U.S. Olympic Trials for 2010. Read all about it here, and here, and here

• Still with the U.S. – holy smokes! – they say that Hibbing will host the U.S. men’s and women’s national shootout. The men’s champs will head just down the highway to Grand Forks, North Dakota for the 2008 World Men’s

• Recent Canadian Brier competitor Jon Solberg is headed to Whitehorse to lead that city’s curling club, which will also host another WCT event in November …

• First a brand new curling facility (as profiled in The Curling News); and now the gift of ancient stones in Swift Current, Saskatchewan …

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Will Canada lose its gold medal champion?

Curling continued to kick ass this week with the announcement of yet another official 2010 Olympic coin – make that Paralympic coin – dedicated to the sport; the second of three released since February.

This time, its Paralympic wheelchair curling that gets the honour, officially released on Tuesday at a news conference featuring Chris Daw, the skip of Canada’s Paralympic gold medal champion team (photo). See a TV report here, a print report here and the news release here.

Daw is a fiercely patriotic and powerful fellow adorned with Canuck tattoos who makes regular speaking engagements across Ontario. He offers much as a multi-sport Paralympic and world championship athlete who has competed in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby aka Murderball, wheelchair athletics and sledge hockey. He’s been caught on camera doing wheelchair motocross, bungee jumping off a cliff, parasailing and even scuba diving.

He was also instrumental in hooking the Canadian Curling Association up with the Canadian Paralympic Foundation and the Toronto Stock Exchange earlier this year, in a landmark deal which will see the CCA set up a new Office of Inclusionary Services – catering specifically to disabled curlers in categories including wheelchair and blind – via a tidy TSX donation of $400,000.

It’s no surprise then to hear rumours, now circulating, that he is being wooed by rival nations – more than one, we hear – who want him to uproot from Canada and set up shop overseas.

What is stunning, and hard to believe, are the rumours that he is seriously considering the offers.

Daw knows his stuff, and on the curling ice, he can make shots no other wheelchair curler can. We know this, personally, as we have seen him lead his squads to exhibition game victories over able-bodied teams skipped by Glenn Howard and Mike Harris among others.

Daw spoke to The Curling Show a year ago, but there were no hints about any post-Turin troubles, just a nonchalant “we’re looking forward to 2010.”

What has changed in a year, to make Daw consider leaving Canada, and lend his considerable expertise to a rival country in advance of the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver?

The very question makes it easy to disbelieve the rumours, but in reality the exportation of Chris Daw would simply follow the able-bodied script, which has seen a multitude of Canadian curlers oversee national team coaching and/or development programs on four continents. So while Canadians would grow nervous, the rest of the curling world would improve their growth and skill set in what is the fastest-growing disabled sport on the planet.

• Oich, some great news from Scotland regarding the famed but decrepit Thomson Tower, where the rules of curling were first drafted over 200 years ago; check out Curling Today and The Scotsman for the details …

• Hold on, Edmonton. Just a day after Terry Jones declared that Canada’s 2009 Olympic Trials are a cinch for the City of Champions, the requisite denials have appeared in various CanWest media outlets. The latest sees rival Kamloops talking tough through its local blat, with former Strauss Canada Cup chair Norm Daley offering that Edmonton’s media reports might indicate “ a little fear on their part or something” and Kamloops city director Byron McCorkell suggesting that “it would appear” Edmonton is running scared …

• Save a prayer for Cathy King and family, as they mourn the mysterious death of older brother Robbie King, a two-time Canadian junior champ (and world junior finalist) in 1974-75 …

• So, do you agree that a sport like “curling” has significantly less exposure than “competitive gaming”? …

Brad Gushue castoff Jamie Korab is enjoying new life without his ex-skipper. He’s now got two teams – one skipped by Quebec’s Guy Hemmings – and two hometown landmarks – a road and a school gym – named after him …

• According to the Globe and Mail, former National Post curling columnist Adam Daifallah has created the Conrad Black Fan Club on the popular Facebook social networking website. Black, a Canadian-slash-British publishing maven, is awaiting a Chicago jury’s verdict on fraud and racketeering charges. Daifallah is a youthful Conservative architect and writer, when he’s not eyeballing the Quebec curling scene for yours truly (former journalist our foot) …

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Skins Game squads

We kinda knew this a while ago, but we… er… forgot to pass it along (honest!), and TSN has made it official today: the four men’s teams confirmed for the Casino Rama Curling Skins Game this coming December are skipped by Glenn Howard, Kevin Martin, Wayne Middaugh and Brad Gushue.

Any bets on who plays whom in the December 8 semis? We’re not telling …

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June curling with Brad Gushue

And you thought curling was over.

The June 9-10 weekend will actually see not one but two curling events in Toronto. There’s the perennial East York Summer Spiel, which you never hear about because the following year’s event is always near-full by the time the current tourney ends. No need to advertise!

But the big news is yet another charity event, this time benefitting the world-famous Hospital for Sick Children, which gives Toronto curling fans a chance to raise money for one of the city’s great causes and rub elbows with some celebs, like Mike Harris and Jenn Hanna.

The big score the fledgling Curl For SickKids event has produced is the participation of Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue, who will be making his first appearance at a celeb-charity event in four years.

There are some spots available but curlers and fans are urged to visit the website, send an email or phone call soon to get in on the action. The top five fundraisers, naturally, get to select their skip …

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Gushue picks Noftall

There’s a big story in the Wednesday edition of the St. John’s Telegram, but The Curling News has it first: the search for Brad Gushue’s new lead is over, and the winner is… Dave Noftall of St. John’s (photo).

Noftall recently played lead for Mark Noseworthy, including the 2005 season which saw Noseworthy surprise the field to qualify for the playoffs at the Players’ Championship in St. John’s. Gushue also thrilled the hometown fans by making it to the final that year, eventually losing to Edmonton’s Kevin Martin.

Gushue spoke exclusively to The Curling News:

“Dave will bring a hard working, positive attitude to our team,” Gushue said. “He is a very calm, mature guy who will fit into the chemistry we are trying to develop.

“It was a long process trying to find the right fit, but we have. We had interest from all over the country; it came down to choosing who would be the best fit on the team, no matter where they were from.

“We are all extremely happy about having Dave as part of the team and we are looking forward to hitting the ice next season.”

Unconfirmed reports say the final choice came down to Noftall and an athlete from British Columbia.

Noftall was also a key player behind the scenes during the run of Grand Slam events at Mile One Stadium in St. John’s (2004, ’05 and ’06). He works for Destination St. John’s as Manager of Event Tourism, charged with attracting and booking big events such as the the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (2005), the Memorial Cup, the Juno Awards, and so on.

Perhaps another major curling event is in the offing, Dave? Looks like your upcoming season is destined to be a “major” as well…

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Rocking the Vic

Harry is back home, the golf clubs are swinging, and there yet another musician front and center on The Curling News Blog.

Why, you may ask?

Simple… it turns out one of the best-kept west-coast-Canadian secrets in the world of music venues is in Victoria, BC… and specifically, the Victoria Curling Club.

Ever since one of our favourite bands – the Pixies – played VCC on their enormously successful 2004 reunion tour – this VCC concert photo shows lead singer Black Francis – we’ve noted more and more live shows booked for this curling club. After the ice goes out in April, of course.

But the legacy is much older… we found word of a Ben Harper show at the VCC dating back to May of 1997. That’s at least 10 years, folks.

Last Sunday saw a popular Finger Eleven gig – some clips can be seen on YouTube, but we’re not linking to them because, well, they suck – and this Saturday it’s another TCN fave, alt-rock heroes Metric. In July, there’s more in store with geezers, and bagpipe punks, a skafest, and so on and so forth.

The only time we’ve personally seen the club floor covered with something other than ice was during the 2005 Ford Worlds: the club became the Keith’s Patch and we could definitely see how it would also serve as a good live venue. Of course, that week the musical acts were the usual gang of cover bands we see at many Season of Champions events. The mighty Pixies, however… they’re simply at another level. Sigh.


This Norwegian blog tells us that there were no spectator turnout for the recent Norwegian Mixed Championship. The local club president also wonders if its label as a “championship” scares away people, ie. players, who are more interested in having a good time – which is important to Norwegians at all times, naturally!

The last bit turns to some positives: that the event was played in the “western territories” – we assume Norwegian events aren’t typically hosted there – and while it’s sad that they still have to play in a hockey rink, says NCA general secretary Sverre Myran, a new rink will probably be built soon in Stavanger. Nice …

• DID YOU KNOW: that former Mark Dacey third Bruce Lohnes has an award named after him? Truro Curling Club juniors Adam Berry and Megan Annand are the 2007 winners of the Bruce Lohnes Award (which was presented by Lohnes’ father Ted) to the Truro CC juniors curlers who demonstrate participation, co-operation and sportsmanship through the season …

• Speaking of award winners, the inaugural recipients of Newfoundland’s “Team Gushue Scholarship Awards”, worth $5,000 each, were recently announced, among many others …

• Meanwhile, Canadian Press has hopped on the story about Jamie Korab’s new team, and the result is something like thirty stories running all across the country, some with wild headlines like Curler fuels feud on rock (Edmonton Sun) and the Globe’s hysterical Hell hath no fury like a curler scorned.

Congratulations Jamie: you have to be the first front-end player to get more ink than over half the skips on the World Curling Tour! …

TCN honcho George Karrys tries to wrap up a wild season over at The Curling Show

• Word is that New York Rangers assistant coach Perry Pearn and curling ace Kevin Martin have both entered their alma mater’s fundraising golf tourney on June 1 at Edmonton’s Coloniale Club. The annual event attracts up to 120 players and sends proceeds to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s fund for athletic scholarships …

• Looks like YouTube curling wizard sterlingwes got a boost from TCN Blog as his viewer numbers have jumped this week. If you haven’t started clicking on his collection of highlight-reel shots, we invite you to do so. Resistance is futile …

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Weston joins 2010

Here’s (left to right) curling golden boy Brad Gushue along with fellow Olympic medallists Beckie Scott (cross-country skiing) and Dominique Maltais (snowboardcross).

The athletes were in Toronto last Thursday to announce that Weston Bakeries has joined the Vancouver 2010 Olympic (and Paralympic) sponsorship family. Weston, which also sponsored the 1976 Montreal and 1988 Calgary Olympic Games, is currently celebrating its 125th anniversary. The company will also be a supplier to the Canadian Olympic teams headed to Beijing next summer and London in 2012.

In addition, the parent company – George Weston Limited – also announced a donation of $300,000 to YMCA organizations across Canada. The new Wonder Play, Dream, Grow Community Spirit program will fund community-based programs that help kids stay fit through play. The program will also include funding the building of several playgrounds and training facilities in communities across Canada.

Gushue flew in and out on the same day, but told The Curling News that he is scaling back his appearances after more than a year of crazy-busy scheduling. He also revealed he was recently acclaimed to the presidency of the Atlantic Chapter of Olympians Canada.

Photo courtesy of Argyle Communications

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Team Gushue speaks

EDMONTON – Alberta native Chris Schille, the second for Brad Gushue, is here at the Ford Worlds, in the runup to Wednesday’s Tylenol Players’ Championship in nearby Calgary.

Moments ago, Schille was dispatched to the Rexall Place media workroom (photo) by his skip to meet the media and explain the unpopular decision to drop popular lead Jamie Korab.

Apparently, the team members had spoken “a lot of times over the past few weeks” and it had “been talked about prior to the Brier”, and the situation all came down to “some on-ice problems, and we had discussions about it throughout the year.”

It was “a real tough decision” and “it really broke our hearts to make this decision.”

It was “almost a clash personality-wise” and “near the end, Jamie seemed not to be in the direction we were going.”

When a reporter asked about Korab’s commitment, Schille said no way, Jose: “Not at all, his work ethic was terrific.”

Another reporter asked about a reported incident between Gushue and Korab at the Strauss Canada Cup, right after the team’s tough loss in the Brier final, and Schille confirmed it to be “an example” where “Brad was saying one thing and Jamie was hearing another… Jamie took it the wrong way.”

Schille said that Korab “started to get a little bit on the negative side… we were trying to build on something they did last year (the 2006 Olympic gold) and (Korab) seemed to be going in another direction.”

Schille also added that “Brad is being attacked about this, especially out east… it’s not really about winning at all costs, it’s about doing the right thing for the team.”

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