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Dordi hangs them up

Just days after 2002 Olympic champion Pål Trulsen made his retirement official – he and his team bade farewell in Winnipeg and received the Asham WCT Ambassador Award – comes word that Dordi Nordby (photo), Norway’s jovial queen of curling, has announced her retirement, after participating in three Olympic Games, 10 World Championships and 22 European Championships.

“It is time others show their mettle,” Nordby told Norway’s Aftenposten.

“I will always be a part of curling, but my time on the rink is over.”

The two-time global champion in 1990 and 1991, Nordby made a spirited run at the recent 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, losing the semi-final and the bronze-medal game to finish fourth.

At December’s 2006 Le Gruyére European Championships in Basel, Nordby’s Norwegian team finished near the bottom of the standings, failing to qualify her country for the upcoming World Women’s Curling Championships in Aomori, Japan.

“The high point of my career was when we won the World Championships in 1991 after extra rounds, in front of a (crowd of) 17,000 in Canada,” said Nordby.

The longtime skip – a member of Norway’s national team since the end of the 1980s – also dedicates her work life to the sport, managing the Snarøen Curling Club in Oslo, where she helps train future generations of Norwegian athletes.

On a personal note, Dordi has been a blast to quote or chat with over the years. She’s quick with a quip and funny as all heck. A true character, the likes of which are few and far between in international women’s curling… and she will be missed.

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Universiade curling champions


The Curling News is everywhere. But you already knew that.

Italy’s 2007 World Winter Universiade is over, and Canada’s Team Brittany Gregor (photo by Nadine Saager) defeated the streaking Russians, led by recent European champion Ludmila Privivkova, 6-5 in the women’s final on a last-rock draw to the four-foot. Japan won the bronze.

On the men’s side, disappointment for Canada as Steve Laycock dropped the semi to the USA and then the bronze game, 9-4 to Sweden’s remarkable three-man – and coachless – squad, skipped by Sebastian Kraupp.

John Shuster of the USA, the jettisoned lead on Pete Fenson‘s Olympic bronze team from a year ago, defeated Great Britain’s John Hamilton 9-4 in the men’s final, thanks largely to a big four-ender scored in the sixth end of play.

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Big Curling Weekend


It’s a big one indeed, but these two clowns (Johnny Mo and Benny Heebz, in photo) are having a ball. They’re with Team Kevin Martin, of course, competing at Winnipeg’s BDO Canadian Open Grand Slam right now (Sunday on CBC-TV). Thanks to the immortal CurlingZone for the foto.

Speaking of slamming, word has it that a couple of new sponsors are about to be announced for the Asham World Curling Tour‘s major series. One of them, apparently, adds a fourth women’s Slam to the event family, and just might be hosted down east and labelled the “Sobeys Slam”. But that’s just a rumour. Of course.

Where’s Dean? He might be in Winnipeg, or not, but The Curling Show is reaching out and touching the Slammers wherever they go. Dean just grabbed Pat Simmons for the latest installment.

And then, of course, there’s the pile of provincial Scotties finishing this weekend; links to those websites on this here blog just to cap it off. Whew.

Stay tuned…

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The Hunt Is On

… for the elusive red heart, the symbol of superiority in Canadian women’s provincial curling. The big stop on the road to the national championship.

Team Canada is Kelly Scott; PEI is Suzanne Gaudet; and here’s a linkfest for the other provincial championships up for grabs right now, with most ending this weekend:

British Columbia
Alberta
Saskatchewan (er, next weekend, actually)
Manitoba , with daily coverage from both the Winnipeg Sun and Free Press
Ontario, with daily coverage from both the Toronto Star and Sun
Quebec
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia, with a preview here
Newfoundland
– The Territories: anyone? Bueller?

Elsewhere …

• Canada’s youthful men’s team will meet the USA Thursday in one semi-final at the 2007 Winter Universiade, while Great Britain meets China in the other. On the women’s side, Canada lost their last three games but still made it into the playoffs, and will face Sweden in the semis. Defending champions Russia are into the other semi, and are awaiting the winner of an Italy/Japan tiebreaker.

Lots of press on the event – even from China – and what about Blogs? Lots of them in action from Italy: here’s the Canadian girls; Canada’s coach, the CCA’s Paul Webster; and even an excited local guy

• Speaking of Pinerolo, here’s an Italian computer curling game, inspired by Torino 2006; you can throw some wild-looking in-turns with this one …

• DID YOU KNOW? … that the second Grand Slam of the season, The BDO Classic Canadian Open, is underway today at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg? Don’t forget the nifty hotel and ticket package offered by the Winnipeg Fairmont, mentioned earlier this week

• Canadians in New Yawk City: you’re wanted for a bonspiel this coming Jan. 28 …

• No, of course it’s not

• Jennifer Jones and the Asham WCT’s Players’ Championship got some ink in this newser about funding cash coming down the pipe from Canadian Olympic sponsor HBC …

• DID YOU KNOW II … That the media liked the scoop revealed by The Curling News, right here on Friday, regarding the new Asham 8-Ender Award, which will hand out an $8,000 cash prize to one of 145 worldwide teams that scored an 8-ender last season? Tune in to CBC for the BDO final on Sunday, where they will announce the winning team …

• U.S. skip Patti Lank will compete with her 15-year-old daughter in Japan next month. Canada’s entries, incidentally, are B.C.’s T.J. Peropolkin and Ontario’s Jo-Ann Rizzo, who will depart the day after the Ontario Scotties ends …

• Former Canadian (and world) Seniors champ Bob Turcotte is back in the show, but unfortunately multiple Ontario women’s champ Anne Dunn couldn’t try to defend her 2006 title: this year’s World Seniors in Edmonton clash with the Canadian nationals …

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Crazed Human Curling


Not sure what’s funnier… the fact that these Left Coast university whackos are soon to engage in human curling (on January 25) or that it’s all themed around a distinctly Scottish/Canadian celebration of the Chinese new year.

Whatever… we love it.

Later tonight or tomorrow we’ll give you a more professional blogpost. Promise.

PS: Suzanne Gaudet has won the PEI championship and will rep the Spuds in Lethbridge. So far it’s her and Team Canada’s Kelly Scott. More later.

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$8,000 for a curling 8-ender

No, we are not making this up.

If you scored an eight-ender in 2006, you could win CDN $8,000.

And one team certainly will, on January 28.

Remember the days when a sponsor would award free stuff to a team that scored an eight-ender, that magical perfect end – all eight stones counting – which is curling’s closest thing to golf’s hole-in-one? We remember companies like SeagramsFord… even the now-defunct Cigar Institute of Canada, circa 1968 (and how did we know that one? Check out our next issue and the 50th anniversary retrospective section, of course).

Those days were long gone… until now.

Asham Curling Supplies, which markets the Furgale 8-ender brush, will soon be announcing the Asham 8-Ender Award, which will disburse an $8,000 cash prize to one of 145 teams – worldwide – that are listed as scoring an eight-ender during the previous 2005-06 curling season.

To find out which lucky team scores the big prize, tune in to CBC’s coverage of the BDO Classic Canadian Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, live from Winnipeg on Jan. 28.

Asham, of course, is the title sponsor of the World Curling Tour, which features the four Grand Slam of Curling events as their crown jewels. And don’t forget that CurlTV will be there throughout the round-robin and quarter-final action.

Speaking of the BDO, curling fans can count on a package deal from the Fairmont Winnipeg, where two room nights gets you two days of game tickets for a total of $150. Pretty sweet!

Briefly:

• The provincial Scotties are underway soon, so check this blog early next week for a handy list of all the event websites across the land. Another service we provide; aren’t we nice!

• The Tim Hortons Brier Tankard usually goes on tour in late February, visiting the home club of each men’s provincial champion before heading off to the big event. This year, a wee tour of the Hamilton area is on tap to drum up interest.

Just one question: is it really a tankard? Or just a trophy?

It is, of course, the original MacDonald Tobacco Brier Trophy (19-whatever through 1979), and wasn’t the tankard reference specific to the big gold beer mug Labatt built for that Brier era (1980-2000)?

Just asking …

• DID YOU KNOW: That a one-day charity spiel in Midland, supported by the Middaughs, has raised $18,000? …

Mark Olson?

Did you say Mark OLSON?

Goodness, we haven’t seen him since… since… okay, since this

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The Hack Came Back

Here’s a great story about the upcoming World Seniors, and, of course, Canadian men’s rep Al Hackner (far right, beside Rick Lang). That’s right, sing along now…

The Hack came back
the very next day
The Hack came back
they thought he was a goner
but The Hack came back
he just couldn’t stay away

• Say goodbye to Manitoba’s Safeway Select, folks. But don’t panic: as Jim Bender tells us, it’s just a name change to the men’s provincial trophy, effective immediately. And, they also have a new trophy, with all the previous champ’s names on it, dating back a while, although it’s a bit of a train wreck right now. And, Safeway is on board for another three years of sponsorship. Hoo-wah …

• The 22nd World Winter University Games, or Universiade, is underway today at the site of the recent 2006 Olympic Winter Games – Pinerolo, Italy. The curling discipline will no doubt be a major hit, and fans can follow the action here. To set it up, here’s a preview

• The last couple of junior teams – in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia (men and women) – have qualified for the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors in St. Catherines next month …

• Ever seen SO curlers? They’re a hoot and their enthusiasm is infectious. Here’s a story from Saskatoon…

• Toronto’s big city club spiel has a new champion, and Manitoba’s version – the venerable MCA Bonspiel – gets underway tomorrow …

• DID YOU KNOW?… that Ontario whistle-blowing skip Bryan Cochrane will compete in his 10th consecutive Ontario men’s provincial next month in Sarnia? Now we feel really old, too …

• Finally, this spiel in Bobcaygeon, Ontario, is celebrating the same golden anniversary as this here publication, The Curling News

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Too Much Curling News

Yup, there’s just too much going on. So we’ll get right to the links…

• Who are these guys (photo)? Located in the ‘Mission Control’ bunker at the Tarnby Curling Club in Denmark, this gaggle of techno-wizards are the heart and soul of the 2007 European Junior Challenge competition. Their event – recently concluded – declared the last few teams into March’s World Junior shootout in Eveleth, Minnesota, and these fellows can often be found glued to their screens in support of our favourite sport.
WCF technical guy/development guy/official/man-about-town Keith Wendorf is a fan of the boys and their bunker; he brings along his laptop and, presto, it is magically souped-up for another year …

Pfeifdawg is a blogger? Not Team Ferbey’s Scott Pfeifer, but his brother, who is coaching a squad at this weekend’s Alberta Junior championships

• Speaking of juniors, remember this guy? We do, for it was one of the great curling stories of 2006 …

• And how about this guy? We remember him too… and also one of his front-enders, from an even older era …

JJJ – none other than Jennifer J. Jones – certainly has her share of armchair enemies these days. But she also has a new friend: former Jenn Hanna second (and all-star shooter) Dawn Askin is throwing lead stones this weekend in Switzerland; other big names in that one include fellow Canuck Kelly Scott, Swiss thrower Mirjam Ott, Russia’s Euro champion Ludmila Privivkova, Germany’s Andrea Schoepp, Scotland’s Kelly Wood and, of course, Sweden’s Anette Norberg

• DID YOU KNOW?… That Ontario curling fans can enjoy no less than four competitions on local channel Rogers Television this month …

• DID YOU KNOW II?… that another ticket package – the Day Pass – is on sale today for the Tim Hortons Brier in Hamilton? Here’s a media story to boot …

Cathy “Blood” King is the latest name to cough it up on The Curling Show

• A hearty congrats and thanks to Ray Pavlove of Parry Sound, Ontario, a lifeling curling dynamo who was recently honoured by his community …

• And here’s another “Mann” who deserves applause

Vic Peters is out for the season, leaving son Daley to skip at this weekend’s Manitoba men’s playdowns. “I’m the water boy,” Vic told the Winnipeg Free Press, and here’s the scoop via Jim Bender at the Sun

• So… picked up the latest (ninth!) curling book of the season yet? It’s called The Ferbey Four: The Kings Of Canadian Curling and all week the Edmonton Sun has been running excerpts. In addition to Monday’s delicious first entry (see previous blogpost), the full week of offerings are: Tuesday’s Oh, The Fun They’ve Had; Wednesday’s The Pros And Cons Of Being Pros; Thursday’s My Wife Understands Me; and today’s Forward To The Future

• Heres a look at Eastern Ontario’s Navan club

• Yup, theyre curling in the Cameroon, believe it or not. Bring on The Indomitable Lions …

• Finally, any knitters out there looking for a curling pattern? Here you go… and no, we have no idea how we find this stuff, either …

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The curling landscape: 2007 and beyond


Hi folks. Welcome back.

We are refreshed and recharged. We are The Curling News, a rather well-known and reputable authority on the Roaring Game, and we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary this year.

Subscribe today. Or give a gift, if you’re already gettin’. Because what you see in the printed version of TCN differs from this here public-service Blog, and you don’t want to miss a single issue.

Particularly when we lovingly present an archived look at the last 50 years of our sport, as seen through our eyes, which we do in every issue.

So get cracking… while we disburse yet another engorgement of fantabulous freebie curling info for you.

Bob Weeks has an interesting piece in today’s Globe and Mail, and perhaps a hint of what’s to come for our sport can be found on the new CBC comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie, which debuts tomorrow evening.

Check out the promo commercial that was shot at Ontario’s York CC in Newmarket early last month; with some images of the shoot (including above) also located here.

Back to the Weeks story and the comment about Toronto ice: the numbers are actually 62 – the number of sheets of ice the city has lost in the last 15 years – and 30 (percentage drop in that time). As a result, the Toronto Curling Association has now formed a Committee for Ice Expansion, and they want bodies to come out and help build a plan of action. Come to St. George’s on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 2:30pm.

Elsewhere:

Jennifer Jones made a quick change to her team over the holidays and it would seem this has John Q. Public in quite a tizzy. Nothing personal, says Jonesy

• What did some of the big men’s teams do recently? They were in Scotland, of course, for the Perth Masters, and here’s a wee summary from TCN reporter Mike Haggerty, who recently blackberried this to us at some Godforsaken hour of the morning:

Randy Ferbey made his New Year trip to Scotland worthwhile when he won the Ramada Perth Masters with a 6-4 win over Torontos Glenn Howard in the final.
Earlier, Ferbey had extinguished the Scottish challenge when he swept aside Perth’s Warwick Smith by 7-2 in a one-sided semi-final. To reach the final Howard beat Olympic champion Brad Gushue, by 6-4 in the other semi-final. The fifth was the key end in the final, when Ferbey scored three shots (points, dammit, POINTS Mike! – Ed) This gave him a 4-1 lead and left Howard with too much to do to catch up, particuarly in an eight-end game as this was.
Ferbey then added to his score with a single steal in the sixth before Howard fought back to score a three of his own in the seventh and close the gap to 5-4. However, Ferbey then used the last stone advantage in the eighth and final end to hit and lie and score one for his 6-4 victory.
Ferbey and his team picked up £5,000 for their efforts.

And speaking of Scots, 20 of them are shortly en route to America for a tour, doing battle for the Herries Maxwell trophy …

• There be a bunch of provincial junior championships wrapping up these days, but can someone tell us why Manitoba’s championships are scheduled for today, and not on a Sunday? Is this a cashspiel wrap-up or a provincial final? Hello?

• The first of five excerpts from Terry Jones’ new book The Ferbey Four: Kings of Curling appears in today’s Edmonton Sun, and it’s a doozy: Who ‘detests’ Kevin Martin most? And who ‘despised’ him first? Great stuff; check it out and then go buy the book

• What’s up with Walnut? Martin’s ex-third is doing fine, thank you very much, and we agree with the Conman that he has been through quite a ride recently. Edmonton readers can see a similar story by Vicki Hall in today’s Journal …

• A Detroit paper covering wee little local bonspiels (here and here)? Not bad …

• Yet another U.S. spotlight story, this time from Appleton, Wisconsin

• Missouri curling fans can get their freak on this coming Saturday, at a rare open house in Kansas City

• DID YOU KNOW?… that Cathy King bleeds for curling?

• Heard about the power-outage curling shot? Wonder what rules geeks have to say about that one …

John Base is swinging the bat on The Curling Show

• Wrapping up 2006, there were a few nifty summary stories written – hello Bob and Bender
and Team Gushue captured CP’s Canadian Team of the Year honours …

• Last but not least, yet another tragedy (sigh) at the tail end of 2006 as Katie Beck, former 2002 world junior champion with the USA’s Johnson sisters, passed away after a struggle with cancer. She was only 24 years old.

The U.S. national teams – skipped by Pete Fenson and Deb McCormick – are planning a “Curl-A-Thon” the weekend of March 3 in Bemidji, Minnesota to celebrate Katie’s life, and all proceeds from the event will go to Katie’s family to help offset the cost of medical bills. Well done, and farewell to a young curling star.