Lifetime curling highlight – my 3 generations team
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I have been a “curler” for the last 48 years – this includes participating in many bonspiels and competitions, attending 23 full Briers and 4 Olympic Trials as a fan and being a volunteer ice maker at an Olympic Trials, a Tim Hortons Brier and a Grand Slam. However, the curling highlight of a lifetime of being a curler came to me last January when I participated in a bonspiel with my three generations team that included my 13 year old granddaughter Kirsten at 3rd, my eldest daughter Stephanie at second, and my 10 year old granddaughter Callie at lead.
I have been attending the Mattawa Open Bonspiel (a small town 60 miles north of my home town) almost every year since 1973 – normally with a mens team. During that span I have been on bonspiel winning teams 3 or 4 times, had many fun weekends at this annual bonspiel, and have grown to become close friends with many of that clubs members over the years. Normally our club sends 3 or 4 teams up north every year to play in the Mattawa Open and they reciprocate by sending 3 or 4 teams down south to our club in Deep River, Ontario. About 10 years ago one of the Mattawa stalwarts helped fill up our spiel by bringing his three grandsons as a team. I always told him that I aspired to do something similar in the future!
So in January 2020, just before COVID hit, I entered my three generation family team in the spiel. We had a fantastic time playing and winning all three of our games, staying in a local hotel where we played games and had snacks until late at night, and enjoying the food and musical hospitality of the Mattawa club.
The picture above shows my smiling team after winning our third game against a team of men in their 20s from the host club. A memorable moment from that game was when one of the opponents asked “How old is your lead?”, “ten” I replied. He turned to his teammate who was playing lead and teased “Buddy you are being out-curled by a ten year old”. Needless to say we all had a good laugh and they took it well.
To me this whole experience was a perfect demonstration of what a great game curling is both as a sport and as a social activity – what other sport could you expect to do something like this? Unfortunately COVID has not allowed us to return to that bonspiel this year but the memories and this photo of my smiling team help to keep this grandpa warm and happy on a cold winters night!