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The Curling News: December 2009 issue

The December 2009 issue of The Curling News, our Olympic Trials special, is ready for your to devour.

Head to our website for hints on the contents, which include multiple Trials stories and previews (including picks from four TCN experts); The Curling News TV Guide; Santa Hemmings; Hollywood on curling (again); our annual book sale is on again; three free digital ways your curling club can boost its profile; and the remarkable story of a World Curling Tour skip who is blind in one eye.

And so much more!

Check it out, and be sure to subscribe today for super-fast service.

As for other curling news, be sure to visit and click “Follow” on The Curling News Twitter feed, which is overheating with content, including:

• the shocking double-extra-end finish to The Dominion Curling Club Championship

• additional pics of the mayhem on our Facebook Group page (join today!)

• yesterday’s World Curling Tour results

• two different world wheelchair curling event results

• the daughter of a famous curler is back in provincials

• a new iPhone curling application

• more Roar of the Rings team previews

• getting to know Jennifer Jones

… and more!

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2010 Curling Calendar On Sale

A new curling calendar launches today, featuring action photography of some of the biggest names in The Roaring Game.

The 2010 Capital One Curling Calendar is now on sale for $16.95 (before shipping and handling) and features such rock stars as Jennifer Jones, Kevin Martin, Brad Gushue, Stefanie Lawton, Team Kevin Koe, Scottish wonderkid Eve Muirhead, and more.

“It’s a great idea and it’s an honour to be included,” said Glenn Howard, one of sixteen Olympic hopefuls who are skipping teams at Edmonton’s Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials starting December 6.

Howard’s image, captured by Capital One Grand Slam of Curling photographer Anil Mungal, appears on the cover. His team also makes an appearance inside.

“This is great for curling fans and it provides excellent exposure in an Olympic year. Curling is booming these days.”

The 13-month wall calendar hangs 9.5” x 24” in wire-o-bound for a perfect finish, and is printed in brilliant colour on the same high-grade,  glossy stock as the 2009 Women of Curling Calendar. Each calendar is also packed into a corrugated sleeve to prevent shipping damage.

The 2010 Capital One Curling Calendar is an all-ages, all-curling product and even includes event listings from far across the sport spectrum. Events both in Canada and around the world – even during the summer months – are included, making this a handy curling reference guide.

Net proceeds will be split equally between The Curling News and Shoot For A Cure Curling, the charitable campaign of the Canadian and American Spinal Research Organizations, which aims to cure spinal injuries and paralysis and boost awareness of wheelchair curling, an official 2010 Paralympic sport.

Click here to order your 2010 Capital One Curling Calendar… just in time for the holiday season!

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What’s all this, then?

Meet Buttons, the newest curling mascot (photo by Anil Mungal, click to zoom in). Buttons was unveiled as The Dominion Curling Club Championship sprang into gear yesterday, and here he/she (?) is with L’Equipe Québéc, aka Team Quebec.

There are 28 teams here representing, for the first time ever, all 14 provinces and territories, including Nunavut… whose ladies team is a remarkable 2-1 early in the competition.

The action runs through Sunday at Toronto’s St. George’s Golf and Country Club. Fans can also follow online through The Dominion curling website which features the Canadian Curling Association’s live scoring system, Curlcast.

There’s another photo on our Twitter page (actually a Twitpic image) as well as more stuff on:

• Curler slays demons and turns his life around, now off to Olympic Games
• Regina to host 2011 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship
Glenn Howard returns to Brantford today and thru the weekend
• Olympic curlers set to invade Kelowna, BC
• Wheelchair and vision-impaired curling workshops to PEI

… and more!

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What’s the difference?

Q: What’s the difference between an Olympic curling year and any other curling year?

A: Media. media. media.

Curlers in San Jose, California managed to get NFL football player Vernon Davis out onto the curling ice earlier this month, and in any other year, the story would have run in local media only. Perhaps with a photo.

We know this because various celebs have tried curling in the past couple of years… and we’ve promoted their experience, right here at The Curling News. Us, and local media where the experience took place.

However, with Vancouver 2010 less than three months away this story has exploded in this viral media universe, complete with video and multiple still pics.

Example: between 9:00am and 9:30am eastern time this morning, no less than 45 media outlets had posted the story online, and the counter was still running.

May we suggest more of these kinds of promotional efforts, from now until Games time. The recipe is simple: grab celeb; apply to ice; write and film.

Rinse and repeat.

Did you miss The Curling News Blog? This may be our first post since last Thursday, but there’s been lots to follow on our Twitter feed. Such as:

Rizzo beats Kleibrink for 11K; McEwen wins on a measure
Glenn Howard, Mike Harris and “Buttons” open The Dominion Curling Club Championship tonight
• When will they curl on Vancouver’s super-cool new/old city rink?
Wayne Middaugh would like to set the record straight:
• Canada loses to Japan at Vancouver wheelchair curling exhibition
• You can follow the Olympic Torch journey online
• No tolls on Team Gushue highway
• 30K raised in little Carmen
Kevin Martin moves into top spot on Tour money list
• The Daceys are off to Chelyabinsk, Russia
• Vernon, BC gets a Grand Slam
• TSN HD channel available free during Olympic Trials

And so very much more. Click on “Follow” at the top left of this page

[Photo by Associated Press]

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Martin’s Battle of the Blades

We must admit, we were having fun with this headline.
“How about: Martin traded to Storm… for Goldline brush and and bag of Chee-tos?”
You know, that sort of thing.
But on to the story.

In advance of his appearance at The National in January, the second Capital One Grand Slam of Curling event of the season, Kevin Martin made a series of promotional appearances in the Guelph, Ontario area earlier this week.

Martin started with a Monday morning trip to a curling club he has visited before. It was the KW Granite Club in Waterloo, the host venue of two TV Skins Games held earlier this decade.
Martin stepped into a club game to call an end and throw a couple of stones (he stole a point). He then answered an unending stream of questions from club members and autographed pictures and brooms.

According to the Waterloo Record, his best story was on the eccentricities of third John Morris. Morris once showed up for a Brier morning draw with an incredibly wrinkled, squashed team jacket. Fearing Morris’s dishevelled appearance was due a late night, the Alberta skip was relieved and amused to hear that Morris had this particular jacket rush-mailed to him from home in an superstitious effort to snap a shooting slump. It worked.
On Tuesday morning, “The Old Bear” dropped by the June Avenue Public School in Guelph, meeting approximately 60 Grade 5 and 6 students to discuss the importance of hard work, and staying focused to achieving goals.
Later that afternoon, Martin laced up his skates to become a Guelph Storm hockey “Player for a Day.”
The 2008 world champion met with Storm players at the Sleeman Centre, site of The National, to provide a motivational address. Afterward, Martin hit the ice with the team and took part in the club’s preliminary practice drills… and even scored a goal (TCN photo by Anil Mungal).
“It was an absolute blast,” Martin told The Curling News. “The guys were real friendly. It was fun to get hockey equipment on for the first time since 1982.

“The biggest message I was trying to get across was believing in themselves. Everyone at this level is good enough to do it. Only the ones that believe deep down they can do it will succeed.”

The Edmonton skip concluded his Ontario spin with a trip to the Guelph Curling Club on Tuesday night. There was another on-ice tutorial session, this time with players from the local Guelph high school league, followed by a meet and greet autograph session with club members, and Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge.

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Tim Hortons curling stories

Curling sponsor Tim Hortons  introduced a curling contest back in early October, part of their “Every Cup Tells a Story” campaign.
Websurfers were invited to tell their own curling story (involving Tim Hortons, of course)  and the public gets to vote, online, for the best tale.
The winning storyteller will be named Grand Prize Winner of a trip for two to the final weekend of the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials in Edmonton, which starts on December 6. The trip includes flights, accommodations and tickets to the Women’s and Men’s Finals at the Roar of the Rings.
Storytellers could even upload their own photo to accompany their story.
Why are we using the past tense? Apparently, the contest is now closed.
Geez. While we are somewhat amazed we didn’t hear about this contest, we are also miffed no one told us about it. Like…. Tim Hortons? The Canadian Curling Association, perhaps?
While TCN Blogreaders might not be able to submit their own story, they can still vote on their favourite story, and help declare the winner. Visit this page and scroll through the multitude of curling stories, and cast your vote today!
TCN readers could definitely play a role in the decision, for there seems to be an eight-way-tie going on between For the love of the game (from Hubbards, NS); 3 Generations (from Waterford, ON); The Day I Knew (Bowmanville, ON); Horsmans take on Jimmy The Kid (Quispamsis, NB); Summer of 2001 (Chase, BC); How I Met My Husband (Belnan, NS); Twilight Curling (Calgary) and the story we voted for: A Curling Legend (Norwood, ON).
Anything else? Yes, lots, but you need to follow the TCN Twitter feed, to learn more about:
• how you can watch the Olympic Torch run LIVE online
• Fox Sports Austalia and their curling insults
• Roar of the Rings tickets: are sales lagging?
• video of Olympian Deb McCormick on Last Call with Carson Daley
• Yowza, Mr, Zawada
• Manitoba team heads to Dominion Club Championship
• PEI teams chasing Canada Games berths
and more to come throughout the day, of course…
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Middaugh a changed man?

What’s in the news today?

• TCN publisher George Karrys suggests in the Toronto Sun that Wayne Middaugh (CCA photo by Michael Burns), fresh off his qualifying run in Prince George, might want to grab some of that “piss and vinegar” that young Jason Gunnlaugson has been talking about. Is the “black hat” version of Team Middaugh ready to Roar?

• Speaking of the Gunner, a CurlingZone troll has sniped a guess at a poor won/loss record for the Beausejour, MB squad at the upcoming Olympic Trials. Does anyone remember Mike Harris in 1997? Bob Weeks certainly does

• Sweden wins in Bern, Ulsrud captures another title, the 50th Monctonian is history; Fowler, Epping and McCarville are pumped, Mark Nichols wants to “get away from curling”, Sherri Singler speaks, the Canadian Mixed, curling academy goes green, and more. It’s all on the TCN Twitter feed, that is …

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Olympic flame on curling ice

From the last post, to the big reveal.

2006 Olympic champion Mike Adam, alternate for Brad Gushue’s victorious foursome and the young man who committed one of “the most selfless acts in sport history” became the first Canadian high-performance curler to carry the Vancouver 2010 torch… and the first-ever human to slide with it down a sheet of curling ice.

The Katie Greene photo above shows Adam alongside former Team Gushue Olympic coach and 1976 Brier champion, Toby MacDonald.

“It was awesome,” Adam told The Curling News.

“In spite of it being Friday the 13th I didn’t wipe out… and I didn’t set the club on fire, either.”

Adam was on the ice at the St. John’s Curling Club in Newfoundland and Labrador, the traditional home base of Team Gushue and many of the island’s top competitors, and accepted the torch from the previous bearer, 2007 Canadian junior champion curling skip Stacie Devereaux.

Adam then proceeded to slide halfway down the sheet of ice. Then, he did it again… nice and slowly, for the assembled media.

“I was thinking, if I slide past real fast to get to the other end, I’ll blow by the people that are lined up to see it, and they don’t get a chance to see it that well,” said Adam.

“So I figured I’d go slowly, and give everyone the real gist of it, show the symbolism.”

Adam enjoyed the technical term VANOC organizers gave to this particular segment of the torch’s unprecedented 45,000 km journey, which will visit 1,000 Canadian communities.

“They call it an ‘Alternative Mode of Transportation,’” Adam chuckled.

Adam was one of 160 torchbearers who carried the flame more than 110 kilometres across Newfoundland on Friday.

On a day when his Olympic teammates with Team Gushue were officially eliminated in the race to defend their championship in Vancouver, thousands of miles away in Prince George, British Columbia, Adam spoke poignantly about his return to the club.

“It’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve been back here,” said Adam, who now lives in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

“It would have been great to have everybody back here for this, but the boys had to be out west.

“I give the organizers full marks for including curling, and our team, in this amazing journey.”

There’s more from Adam and his big Friday in today’s edition of the St. John’s Telegram.

Later today, Alberta front-end curling legend Don Bartlett runs with the torch, in his original hometown of Gander, Newfoundland.

Other Olympic curlers slated to carry the torch are Russ Howard (Moncton, Nov. 29), Don Walchuk (Moose Jaw, Sask. on Jan. 10), alternate Ken Tralnberg (Hague, Sask. on Jan. 11), Marcie Gudereit (Lloydminster, Sask. on Jan. 12), alternate Sandra Jenkins (Salmon Arm, B.C. on Jan. 27) and Georgina Wheatcroft, who will bear the flame at Whistler Olympic Park on Feb. 5.

The full list of 300 Canadian Olympians who will act as torch bearers can be seen here.

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What the heck pt II

A couple of days ago, we asked: What the heck is going on here?

And now we ask it once again: in the Katie Greene photo above, what the heck is going on here?

We’ll tell you shortly. But for now, follow The Curling News Twitter feed and discover:

• who is in or out of Olympic contention, and the fate of the defending champions
• which country just saw TV curling fall into the endangered zone
• which city is hosting an on-ice border battle
• which low-profile curler is featured in the Financial Post
• what’s red, menacing, and located 55 feet from each curling hack

And much more later on… of course!