Showing posts with label jennifer jones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jennifer jones. Show all posts

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Trials All-Star Hotties

by Margo Weber

EDMONTON – Come on. You read the blog mayhem from the Calgary Brier, right?

You know I had to "go there" eventually, right?

Okay, here they are... the long awaited All Star Hottie Teams at these here Tim Hortons Canadian (Olympic) Curling Trials.

I give no explanation for my picks, except for sheer hotness. There is a serious Alberta flavour here, but I did try not to be biased. Remember, there were six Alberta teams in the field...

I caught a lot of heck – Dalene Heck? – for my Brier picks, but I think these choices are, for the most part, obvious. Whatever.


Fourth – David Nedohin
Third – John Morris
Second – Carter Rycroft
Lead – The farmer from the Dekalb TV commercials. Note: there are two farmers, I’m talking about the scruffy cute one.


Skip – Crystal Webster
Third – Jeanna Schrader
Second – Sheri Singler
Lead – Chelsey Bell

** My husband wants a disclaimer here that his picks are Jennifer Jones, Kim Schneider and Kari MacLean and he thinks I should be playing lead on one of these teams. To THAT I say I’d have to start going to the gym.

Agree with my picks? Disagree? Feel free to discuss!

[CCA photo of Morris by Michael Burns]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This is where it gets fun

by Margo Weber

EDMONTON – Okay, so with one round robin game left, this is how it shakes down today on the women’s side.

Cheryl Bernard has a bye to the final by virtue of her 6-0 record. Shannon Kleibrink has a bye to the semi.

This is where it gets fun. Amber Holland, Krista McCarville and Stephanie Lawton are all at 3-3. They all play different teams and if they all LOSE – they bring in Crystal Webster and possibly Jennifer Jones, both at 2-4… Webster in this scenario would win her game, and Jones would then have to win hers as well in order to be included in the mix. 

Let me paint the picture for you. This is very unlikely.

You see with all three of the 3-3 teams needing to lose in order for this scenario to work, Lawton needs to beat the wrecking ball that is Cheryl Bernard. Then Holland has to lose to Kelly Scott, and McCarville has to lose to Webster. Then we are looking at tiebreakers. 

And if Jones beats Kleibrink that then brings them into the mix too. So Jennifer Jones has to hope for every single sheet to go her way in order to have a chance at some tiebreakers and the Olympic Winter Games.

So we will watch here at 1:00pm and see what happens. The Bernard and Kleibrink squads likely have no interest in showing any mercy, so it should be fun to see the other teams scramble for what is still technically possible. The only team out of contention at this point is Kelly Scott.

I would like to take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief at not making predictions this week. And I shall point out that on this here TCN blog,  Mary Anne Arsenault picked Kelly Scott to win… and Cheryl Bernard to come in last. 

This is how close this field is.

[CCA photo of Jennifer Jones by Michael Burns]

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Margo Weber: The Olympic Dream

[Welcome back Margo Weber; blogstar from the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier, she is back to pontificate on the Tim Hortons Canadian (Olympic) Trials. Here's her big-picture portrait of this amazing Olympic canvas...]

by Margo Weber

It all comes down to this, folks... because it’s finally here, what everyone has been talking about. The Roar of the Rings.

We’ve been waiting for this for years and it promises to be the best display of curling... possibly ever. This is an event with the best men’s and women’s curlers in Canada. Two teams will be crowned Olympians and go on to represent our country at home in Vancouver in February.

This is huge.

The last Olympic Trials I saw in person was in Brandon in 1997. I held my breath when Sandra Schmirler made ‘the shot’, and I sat right behind the sheet when Mike Harris casually walked away to get a drink of water, and walked back an Olympian.

I have very clear memories of sitting down with Shannon Kleibrink after her eventual loss to Team Schmirler, and with tears in her eyes she said she wasn’t upset at that moment because she’d lost the game... she just missed her kids.

This is a big deal. People put their lives on hold for this. Some wait just a few more years to start a family. Some set their careers aside, and even let them slip. Certainly most players sacrifice every vacation day they have just to prepare themselves for what might be. The Olympic Dream is a costly one.

Schmirler famously burst into tears after her final rock in that game. She was barely able to shake hands. She later explained that she simply did not know how she was going to leave her babies.

Some teams have been a threat for years. Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard, Jennifer Jones... they all qualified two seasons ago. They’ve been waiting, planning and preparing. Jason Gunnlaugson and Crystal Webster were pleasant surprises... perhaps they have less pressure on them. Maybe they will carry less on their shoulders as they march into Rexall Place. Someone like Jeff Stoughton knows he should be there... and will just take it one game at a time.

For us spectators, we sit... and wait... and, now, finally, we get to watch. And be glad we aren’t the parent of someone out there on the ice.

But we all know there are curling superstars in the making out there. Regardless of what happens, at least some of the athletes on the eventual Olympic teams will be brand new, frst-time Olympians.

They likely have no idea how their lives will change.

[CCA photo of Cheryl Bernard (nice shaaawwwt!) by Michael Burns]

• Behind-the-scenes pics of Opening Ceremonies and gab session
• Winner of our Glenn Howard curling condom trivia contest (say what?!)
... and more!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

mrnn Trials Predictions

As promised, here is yet another fearless Canadian Olympic Trials prediction from one of The Curling News' prognosticators.

As mentioned yesterday, no less than four TCN experts have made their calls in the current December issue, available via subscription now.

Today's picks come from Halifax, and were calculated back in late November, when "it was 15C on my deck this afternoon and the thought of Winter Olympics seems sooo far away." The author? Mary Anne Arsenault, skip and former second for Colleen Jones.


1. Scott – if Schraeder is on I think they'll pull out the win.
2. Jones – scrappy enough to be among the leaders; they find the wins.
3. Lawton – if they've developed their draw game, they'll be tough to beat.
4. McCarville – my darkhorse pick; well coached; depends on Tara George.
5. Kleibrink – not seeing it for them again.
6. Holland – inexperienced but seem to have great team dynamics.
7. Webster – lacking in 'big game' experience; hard to know how they'll respond.
8. Bernard – not seeing the consistency needed to win an event of this calibre.

1/2. Martin – proven best shooters around.
1/2. Howard – next to best shooters with better team dynamics.
3. Koe – should be near the top if they can stay in the moment.
4. Stoughton – oh so close once again.
5. Ferbey – still have plenty of talent but will the drive be there?
6. Gunner – they'll turn a few heads but lack the experience to finish.
7. Middaugh – appear to be a team of individuals.
8. Simmons – could be a frustrating tourney.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Olympians are coming

EDMONTON – Oh, the stories they’ll tell.

The Olympians are coming. No, not the handful of medallists among the competitors at the Roar of the Rings, which starts Sunday... they will soon be the stars of the show, as we all know.

We’re talking about the members of teams Sandra Schmirler – minus one, sadly,  of course – and Mike Harris (Karuizawa, 1998)... and teams Kevin Martin (incl. the two Dons) and Kelley Law (Ogden, 2002)... and even a couple of bodies from teams Kleibrink and Howard-slash-Gushue, from Pinerolo, 2006.

The Canadian Curling Association is flying them in for the opening weekend, which starts tonight with the Opening Banquet; continues Saturday with opening night At The Patch; and peaks with the start of play on Sunday, with the Opening Ceremonies and appearances in the Keith’s Patch for some interactive “Up Close and Personal” sessions.

Good on the CCA for celebrating its Olympic Trials past, and welcome to The Roaring Game’s heavy medallists.

And the stories they’ll tell!

Missing out on Edmonton? Sure, TSN TV – in High-Definition all week, for free – will help make up for it, but there really is no substitute for watching the games live in person. In our humble opinion.

As for these Olympic stories, rest assured that The Curling News will take care of you... be your fly on the wall... through this here TCN Blog, and/or through the @curling Twitter feed, and/or via the post-Trials January issue, in our popular They Said It department.

And also through the lateral efforts of our commander-in-chief, The Curling Guru, who also writes a weekly Sun Media column.

All we ask in return is for you to subscribe to The Curling News, which is delivered six times per annum to your door in a protective polybag, via first-class mail. Please support us in our quest to provide the ultimate in essential curling news and information, across multiple media platforms.

We guarantee different content in all these deliverables mentioned, and your patronage will help us consolidate our position as number one in the curling media world.

And those who give the gift of The Curling News, aka subscribe a friend or family member over the next couple of weeks – say by December 18 – will see that recipient receive a gift card notice in time for the holidays, explaining your gift.

Tomorrow, later in the day, another TCN expert gives her Trials predictions, in addition to those four who have already seen their fearless forcasts appear in the December issue – world wheelchair champion and six-time Brier skip Jim Armstrong; TCN columnist and Calgary Herald curling wizard Allen Cameron; CBC talkie and Olympian Mike Harris; and four-time bronzed STOH skip Sherry Middaugh.

That’s a fifth expert, tomorrow, right here on the blog.

Sunday, just prior to the opening ceremonies, ace blogstar Margo Weber weighs in  with her first of many Trials postings. You remember Madge, and her partner Dalene Heck, blogging from last March’s Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary, right? (use search box at top left)

We’ll have lots from Margo, and some other surprise blogstars, throughout the week here in Edmonton.

And we do it all for curling. We simply love curling, and we know you do, too. Thanks again for your support, folks.

POSTSCRIPT: Have you been following our tweets? If not, make way and follow, because you have missed the following:

Jennifer Jones, Glenn Howard first to arrive
Randy Ferbey’s alternates anger; Glenn says relax
• Will the Mythbusters blow up a curling stone? Vote for it...
• Trials predictions: what does the math say?
• Another curling calendar gal takes it off (NSFW/age warning)
• Canadian provincial playdowns in high gear this weekend
• Mammoth European championships ready in Aberdeen
• Geez, this guy seriously dislikes The Ferb
Hec Gervais, St. Albert native, would have been proud
• World Curling Tour event results and wrapups
• Ferbey credited with finding new CCA/WCF sponsor
• Curling meets Tailgating in Green Bay Packerland

... and more!

Monday, November 30, 2009

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!

Friday, November 27, 2009

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!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Olympic curling roadsign

Our friend Terry Jones is back on the curling beat, and not a moment too soon.

The veteran Sun Media sports scribe, who also authored the 2007 book The Ferbey Four, was at a “32 days out” ceremony for the massive Roar of the Rings event coming to Edmonton December 6-13.

Otherwise known as the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, the event is basically the “Olympic Trials” which will declare Canada’s representatives for Vancouver 2010.

As Jones tells us here, many of the late week draw matchups were revealed as part of the news conference.

The much-anticipated and possibly crucial all-Edmonton battle between Kevin Martin and Randy Ferbey will be on the Wednesday afternoon draw, which also features Edmonton's Kevin Koe versus the other pre-qualified team skipped by Ontario’s Glenn Howard.

Thursday morning features Ferbey-Howard and Martin-Koe, and Thursday night will feature Ferbey-Koe and Martin-Howard.

Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones, Calgarian Cheryl Bernard, Saskatoon’s Stefanie Lawton and Calgary’s 2006 Olympic bronze medallist Shannon Kleibrink have their feature games against each other Wednesday morning, Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon.

As any curling fan worth his or her salt knows, the remaining squads will be known after the Road to the Roar in Prince George, B.C., which starts up pretty darned soon.

Jonesy also tells us that ticket sales are already at 134,844 for the eight-day event, and single draw tickets go on sale this Saturday.

Tickets are $50 a pop for the women’s final (Dec. 12) and the men’s final (Dec. 13), while the semifinals are $40 each. The early round-robin draws are $30 each.

For heaven’s sake, this has got to be one of the last wakeup calls for curling fans to get their butt to Edmonton, for this showdown of the ages.

“We can’t believe this event is only a month away,” said host committee woman Jackie-Rae Greening. “Probably in our lifetime we won't have the opportunity again to watch a trials where the winners get to represent Canada on their home turf at the Olympic Games. Now it’s getting so close, it’s getting so exciting.”

The last word goes to K-Mart, who unveiled some kind of countdown road sign, along with Kleibrink, at yesterday’s newser (photo by inews880AM, click to zoom in).

“I think the level of curling has increased significantly, the curlers have been training harder and have all become better than we were four years ago,” said Martin.

“That’s going to make this event even better and hopefully is going to make Canada even better at the Olympics.”

NOTE: have you signed up to follow The Curling News Twitter account?

If not, you’ve already missed today’s info on New Brunswick’s mixed team; Stoughton and Burtnyk on their Road to the Roar (and McEwen and Gunnlaugson, too); the husband of Sandra Schmirler and his honour at carrying the Olympic Torch; and Brad Gushue as an “interesting choice” to publicize the Tim Hortons Brier... considering that he hopes to not compete in it!

Head to the page and click on “Follow” to get tuned in to the digital curling world!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tour thoughts from week five

As CTVOlympics reports, it’s another week come and gone on the World Curling Tour.

Digging deeper, one might agree with Lydon Little that BC teams shouldn’t be overlooked heading into the pre-Trials “Road to the Roar” next month in Prince George.

Particularly Kelowna’s Bob Ursel, who has made it to two finals in his two events this season, and who won yesterday’s playoff matches in Vancouver by scores of 7-1, 6-1 and 7-1.

And yesterday’s victory by Jennifer Jones (Calgary Herald photo by Christina Ryan) indicates she has indeed shrugged off last year’s fourth-place worlds finish in Ganeneung, Korea.

She’s been an outright winner in all three tournaments since: last fall’s Grey Power Players’ Championship; the Eurotour opener in Oslo, Norway (beating Olympic champ Anette Norberg) and now the first women’s Grand Slam of the season (beating world champ Bingyu Wang).

Jones has also overtaken the struggling Shannon Kleibrink – now oh-fer in three tournaments this fall – in the Order of Merit standings.

Meanwhile, Brad Gushue’s run of tournament wins came to an abrupt halt, but not before he defeated Kevin Martin for the second time this season. The Gushues ended up losing a C-qualifier to – guess who? – ex-teammate Chris Schille.

As for Martin, and Glenn Howard, neither team has won an event this season. Hmm.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Norberg wins Masters

2006 Olympic champion Anette Norberg is the 2009 Re/Max Women’s Masters champion after defeating Swedish rival Stina Viktorsson by an emphatic 8-4 score in the final at Basel.

Semi-finalists were USA Olympic representatives Debbie McCormick and Switzerland’s Fabienne Fuerbringer, while the quarter-finalists included Vancouver-bound Eve Muirhead of Great Britain and Germany’s Andrea Schoepp.

The Norberg victory follows a runner-up finish two weeks earlier in Oslo, when they were defeated in the championship final by Canada’s Jennifer Jones.

Jones and an impressive group of teams – including 2006 Olympic medallists Mirjam Ott and Shannon Kleibrink – are down to their last lives at Calgary’s Trail Appliances Grand Slam event in Calgary, which wraps up on Monday.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Curling casting call: postscript I

The call went out right here, on The Curling News Blog, last Wednesday.

It was a curling casting call, you may recall, for the Calgary area, seeking curlers with various retro-outfits and equipment for a TV featurette on The Roaring Game.

Calls also went out to the Southern Alberta Curling Association and even the Kevin Koe men’s team, who of course showed off their own retro look last season.

The Crowsnest Films shoot featured Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones along with the local hired help, and today’s feature in the High-River Times tells more of the tale.

And we’ll have even more – including exclusive behind-the-scenes visuals – in the weeks to come, right here at The Curling News Blog!

[High-River Times photo by Alyssa Burnham]

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Calgary curling casting call

Remember this TV ad? Of course you do. Looks like it would be fun to film, right?

Well, today we can announce a new Calgary curling casting call. For Jennifer Jones... and for you!

Crowsnest Films of Calgary is shooting a series of short films for Bravo Television in advance of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Curlers are wanted, and needed, for a TV shoot taking place this coming Saturday, October 3, just a few kilometres outside of Calgary.

Interested people have to be prepared for a possible 8-10 hour day where they can watch the entire process, get fed, support Jennifer and be on camera as an essential part of the story!

They are looking for the following:

• 8 men (under 60, over 18)
• 8 women (under 60, over 18)
• 4 senior men (over 60)
• 4 senior women (over 60)

Vintage curling sweaters, plaid coats, team jackets circa 1950s thru 1970s would be appreciated. Old corn brooms would be a welcome accessory as would patches, pins or serious tams!

Interested parties can contact Jessica at 403-966-1027 and via email at Please indicate which category you would fit into and you will be contacted as to where and when you will be needed!

So what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Season of Champions TV

It’s no surprise that the Canadian Curling Association has made another leap into the digital world.

Season of Champions TV was announced today and premiers live, online, on Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 pm MT/9:00 pm ET.

It’s the latest innovation by the CCA to use Internet technology to bring the curling community closer to its championship events and the competitors. The strategy includes the on-going development of the website, which underwent a dramatic facelift in July 2008, the website, with comprehensive information on all of the Season of Champions events, plus live scoring from each championship or event utilizing the CCA’s CurlCast program.

It all starts October 7 with a two-hour live webcast from Edmonton – home to December’s Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, aka the Olympic Curling Trials.

Edmonton media personalities Jim Jerome (a famous Patch host) and Jackie-Rae Greening (she of many Edmonton host committees) will host seven of the eight skips who have qualified for the Roar: namely Kevin Martin, Kevin Koe, Randy Ferbey, Jennifer Jones, Shannon Kleibrink, Cheryl Bernard and Stefanie Lawton.

Ontario’s Glenn Howard is unavailable due to work commitments.

The athletes will appear in a live forum, when curling fans will have the opportunity to submit questions online, by simply by logging on to the Season of Champions website. CCA is strongly recommended that fans pre-register their questions.

“The Canadian Curling Association continues to want to reach out to our fans and showcase our events the best way possible,” explained Greg Stremlaw, CEO of the Canadian Curling Association.

“We have made it a priority to not only embrace information technology as a very important tool within our business, but also to use it to help bring curling enthusiasts closer to the best curling events and athletes in Canada.”

Another innovation for the 2009-10 season will be the introduction of, a website dedicated to capturing all the fun and excitement of the infamous Keith’s Patch. This site, which will launch in early November, will feature entertainment information, Up Close and Personal interview sessions and everything else that makes Keith’s Patch the legendary party central for Season of Champions events.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Jones, Gushue rolling early

This busy weekend of curling continues with Monday’s finals of the Sandra Schmirler Charity Classic in Regina.

Among the quarterfinalists are Calgary’s Heather Rankin (photo above) who takes on 2007 world champion Kelly Scott on Monday morning.

Our friend Pal Trulsen kept his time warp going all the way to the semifinals in Oslo, where he finally lost to heir apparent Thomas Ulsrud. In the final, Sweden’s youthful Oskar Eriksson – second and fourth at the last two world junior championships – upset Ulsrud for the men’s victory.

We’re expecting the Swedes to update their team blog sometime on Monday... probably with a headline like Vi vann! or perhaps Helige Gud! Vi slog dem alla!

The women’s crown went to Canada’s Jennifer Jones, who took out a variety of strong teams including defending Olympic champion Anette Norberg in the final. Both Oslo Cup finales ended in 5-4 scorelines.

Elsewhere in Canada, the big story is that Brad Gushue won his third tournament in a row, beating Ian Fitzner-Leblanc in the final of the Appleton Cashspiel in Halifax. The Gushues took out Canada’s 2009 world junior rep Brett Gallant in one semi, while Fitzner-Leblanc defeated 2004 Brier champ Mark Dacey in the other.

KW Fall Classic in Kitchener saw Toronto’s Julie Hastings defeat Stoney Creek’s Karen Bell 4-2 while Bradford’s Dale Matchett beat Jake Higgs of Harriston 8-7 to win the men’s crown.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dawson Creek gets Players' Championship

Dawson Creek in British Columbia has been awarded the hosting rights to the 2010 Grey Power Players’ Championship.

The season’s final Capital One Grand Slam of Curling event is scheduled for the EnCana Events Centre in Dawson Creek from April 13-18.

The Capital One Grand Slam of Curling, the World Curling Tour and iSport Media and Management also announced that Grande Prairie, Alberta has secured the hosting rights to the 2011 championship.

After hosting the six-day event in 2009, which attracted 40,125 spectators and featured championship wins by Edmonton’s Randy Ferbey and Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones, the 2011 Grey Power Players’ Championship will return to the Crystal Centre in Grande Prairie on April 12-17.

Dawson Creek and Grande Prairie are just 133 kilometres apart.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing the 2010 Grey Power Players’ Championship to Dawson Creek as well as returning the event to Grande Prairie in 2011,” said Wendy Kane, Executive Director of the Capital One Grand Slam of Curling.

“Last year’s tournament in Grande Prairie was a great success and we’re looking forward to putting on an even bigger show in the next two years.”

The 2010 Grey Power Players’ Championship will feature a separate men’s and women’s draw consisting of the world’s top 13 ranked teams from the 2009-10 season as well as curling’s gold, silver and bronze medallists from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

“We’re elated that Dawson Creek was selected to host a premier international sporting event such as the Grey Power Players’ Championship,” said Dawson Creek Mayor Mike Bernier. “This is another great opportunity for Dawson Creek to showcase our great city to the rest of Canada. This world class event will have significant positive social and economic impacts to the community and is a real win-win for Dawson Creek.”

Ticket packages for the 2010 Grey Power Players’ Championship are scheduled to go on sale on November 6.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Swiss curling update

It’s all things Swiss in today’s The Curling News Blogpost.


Well... why not?

1. Team Mirjam Ott made some waves at the end of the 2008-09 season by replacing second Valeria Spaelty with team alternate Carmen Kueng. Spaelty was the last remaining member of Ott’s 2006 Olympic silver medallist foursome, and Kung had been the squad’s dedicated alternate the last couple of seasons.

A photo of the new Team Ott, who are pretty much confirmed to represent Switzerland at Vancouver 2010, is located here. The accompanying update states the squad will be taking a full six-month leave of absence from work to focus on the drive to Vancouver, which will include six weeks of training/touring in Canada.

2. Team Ralph Stoeckli, fourth-place finishers at the Ford Worlds in Moncton, need to win a special best-of-seven playoff against 2008 European rep Stefan Karnusian to book their tickets to Vancouver. But should they win, they will not be heading to the Games with team coach Russ Howard.

Russ has confirmed his gig with the CTV Olympic broadcast consortium – which of course features the TSN curling crew – and will be doing the suit and tie thing in Vancouver. Howard might still be jetting to Switzerland in September to do some work with the squad – this is still TBD – but he definitely won’t be wearing the white cross in February.

Here’s a photo of Howard in his Swiss duds, consulting with Stoeckli and lead Simon Struebin, who just happens to be Europe’s representative on the board of the new World Curling Players’ Association (as we revealed last month).

Back in November, you may recall that TCN scored the first photo of Russ in his new coaching career.

Speaking of photos, the CCA image above (shot by Michael Burns) shows Stoeckli in a huge fist pump just as his final throw settles into the button for a big win in Moncton.

3. But there’s another Canadian coaching saga in Switzerland... two, in fact. The husband and wife team of Lorne and Chris Hamblin have been hired as Swiss Curling’s new national team coaches.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press story, Hamblin said he and his wife only wanted a chance to coach at a high level and the Swiss opportunity came along before any other. “If there had been similar opportunities in Canada," said Hamblin, “we would have pursued that. But there weren’t.”

4. Andreas “Andi” Schwaller has hung up his boots... for now. The man who rivalled Stoeckli for Swiss skipping honours throughout this decade – winning world silver in 2001 and Olympic bronze in 2002 – has retired from competition... but perhaps only for a year, as this story would indicate.

You can also listen to a radio interview with Schwaller – in German, of course – on this page.

So, there you go. Anything else for the rest of this North American holiday week?

• CTV’s retrospective Olympic features titled “Where Are They Now?” includes Joan McCusker, and that famed 1998 Olympic championship squad ...

• Sudbury, Ontario is currently hosting its annual Dominion Amethyst Curling Camp, which is previewed here and also featured here ...

• Three-quarters of Team Jennifer Jones made an appearance last weekend in Blackfalds, Alberta ...

• Kansas City, USA curling action takes place on Monday nights through August 31 ...

• And finally, the New Zealand curling championships started today, with the finals set to wrap up on Sunday ...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Curling Zombies on the road

Remember those loveable Curling Zombies?

They took to the streets, which is what zombies do.

They hung out at The Beer Store, which was something new.

They infatuated the Rogers TV folks during last February’s Ontario Tankard.

And believe it or not, they are still groaning their way around the country.

Fresh off this past Saturday’s screening at the CFC’s Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto, our favourite undead curlers are off to St. John’s in Newfoundland. Deadspiel will make its Eastern Canadian premier at the Nickel Independent Film Festival (June 23-27) with a show date of Thursday June 25, part of the 10:00pm Late Night Horror Show.

The film is also appearing at this week’s Detroit Windsor Film Fest, on Friday, June 26, and then in west-end Toronto at the Mississauga Independent Film Festival in early July.

Another showing will take place at Montreal’s famed Fantasia Festival next month.

We’ve got a recent feature from Independent Scene right here, and a brief trailer teaser was also recently released, which you can see here.

For more on the film, consult the Deadspiel website.

Other stuff...

• Some news from Norway. First, the country has produced its first DVD on curling, a 29-minute how-to which features Pal Trulsen and Thomas Ulsrud. Second, coach Thoralf Hognestad is stepping down from the Norwegian wheelchair curling team, which he guided to two world championships in 2007 and 2008 ...

• Sweden has confirmed Team Anette Norberg as their women’s Olympic rep for Vancouver 2010. Meanwhile, young hopeful Niklas Edin is still in limbo, but feels his men’s team will get the nod sometime during or after December. You can see the formal announcements here ...

• According to the Vernon Morning Star, the B.C. town will host a Capital One Grand Slam of Curling men’s event in December of 2010 ...

• Saskatchewan curling legends Sam Richardson and Jan Betker both make appearances in this short (1:23) video promoting Saskatchewan curling, part of the federal government’s Travel Canada promotion ...

• For those of you who are suspicious of clicking on game links that we provide here – and we don’t necessarily blame you for your caution – the developers of the infamous “Brown Cow Curing” videogame (a web-based freebie) have posted some video of their effort ...

• And finally, 2008 world champion Jennifer Jones teamed with new Edmonton Oliers hockey coach Pat Quinn for a recent appearance in Thunder Bay, Ontario ...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Curling Camps: the Glenn Howard Fantasy

In today’s post: the first in a camp series, Kelly Scott’s new lead, Kevin Martin writes his own press and the weirdest curling music video EVER.

So... here’s a first in a series of posts on some of the various “curling camps” available in the off-season. Today, we spotlight the last such camp on the calendar before the “start” of the 2010 Olympic season: the Team Glenn Howard Fantasy Camp.

The second-annual camp takes place in Guelph, Ontario from September 11-13. By all reports, last year’s inaugural camp was a smash hit, complete with a special appearance from 2007 world champion women’s skip Jennifer Jones. The camp even attracted the attention of Team Brazil (photo above), who of course went on to challenge the United States for a spot in April’s Ford Worlds in Moncton.

The 2009 edition promises more for curlers of every skill level. The registration form is available from this page and there’s a special offer available from team sponsor BalancePlus.

Register by June 15 and your name will be entered in a draw to win a new pair of BP 500 Series curling shoes!

Still with the Howards, front-enders Brent Laing and Craig Savill will be teaming up with former teammates Heath McCormick and Andy Ormsby for a four-man charity hike from July 24-26.

Here’s the catch (there are two). First, the entire distance must be covered on foot and all four team members must reach the checkpoints and the finish line together, and within 48 hours.

The second challenge, and the most important part, is for each team to raise a minimum of $2,500 for designated charity Oxfam Canada. But this team, named The Hacks, wants to raise double that amount.

To contribute, head to the Oxfam Trailwalker page and click on “sponsor a hiker”, type in The Hacks, and then choose on of the four team member names to make your donation.

In other news...

• Kelly Scott has announced the name of her new lead player. If you missed the news of the dismissal of former teammate Renee Simons, here’s two links to catch up on: the first and the second. Note the 22 comments posted from readers ...

• DID YOU KNOW: that Brooks may lose the Pheasant Classic, the two-year-old Tour event that has been declared the best event on said Tour?

• The final pieces of the 2009-2010 Season of Champions calendar have fallen into place, with the news that the Canadian Seniors will be in Ottawa; the CIS/CCA University Championships, presented by The Dominion, will take place at the Saville Sports Centre in Edmonton; and that the 2010 TSX Canadian Wheelchairs will be hosted by Kelowna ...

• Did you catch the final CBC Sports curling blogpost of the season from Grand Slam host Scott Russell? Well, there you go ...

• DID YOU KNOW II: that Winnipeg heat-thrower Jason Gunnlaugson has found a player for next season? The young team is into the Road to the Roar, aka the Olympic Pre-Trials qualifying spiel in Prince George, but contrary to public expectations, the Gunner did not pick up an experienced skip ...

• Who loves curling? Alfaj0r loves curling ...

• And so does new fan Hannah, a grade eight student in Moncton ...

• And so does Jamie Jay Singh, who asks, “Say do you like curling?” And we ask: “Uh, say what?”

Have you voted for the Curling emoticon yet?

• And finally, DID YOU KNOW III: that Kevin Martin is now a journalist? It’s true. He wrote a story about himself in the Mississauga News, check out the byline ...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bronze or bust

GANGNEUNG, Korea – Team Canada put in a valiant effort against Sweden this afternoon, but it was not to be.

Canadian curling fans, so used to seeing Jennifer Jones and Co. make wild comebacks, almost saw yet another one today.

In total control in the ninth end, one up with hammer, the Joneses ran into trouble – missing five of eight shots, including both of Jennifer’s – and dropped a steal of two.

In the 10th, things didn’t look much better when Dawn Askin was very light on a guard and Cathy O came light on an essential come around.

But JJ took matter into her own hands, making a hit and roll on her first one and then letting fly with a delicate chip ’n flop attempt on her last one, and exceedingly difficult shot with a razor-thin margin of error.

As Jill Officer said, the skipper missed it “by millimetres.”

In the 10th end , with the ice straightening out, Jones’ long guard effort couldn’t be stuffed behind, and she was a tad heavy too, and Anette Norberg of Sweden followed her down for the freeze, and the win.

Great effort, and the first time in a long while – possibly ever? – that a 9-2 record only got you into the Page 3/4 game.

With a two-time world champ and defending Olympic champion as your fourth-place opponent.

Hey now.

Nice event going on here in Gangneung.

Nice WCF pic by Lee Young Gyu, taken as the skipper realized her fate in the fateful ninth end. Click to expand photo size.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sexiest curlers poll


We probably shouldn’t do this.

But we’re going to do it anyway.

A blog titled Euro Women is running a poll to decide the Sexiest Woman of the 2009 World Curling Championship.

There have only been 12 votes cast over the duration of the poll... which has only a couple of days left online.

The contestants (as chosen by the blogsite) are:

Jennifer Jones (Canada)
Madeleine Dupont (Denmark)
Camilla Jensen (Denmark)
Eve Muirhead (Scotland)
Jackie Lockhart (Scotland)
Eva Lund (Sweden)
Debbie McCormick (USA)
Allison Pottinger (USA)
Marianne Roervik (Norway)
Liudmila Privivkova (Russia)
Melanie Robillard (Germany)
Ekaterina Galkina (Russia)
Carmen Schaefer (Switzerland)

Although we are admittedly contributing to the sexploitation of some truly skilled curling athletes, we look in the mirror and realize that, well, we could be accused of doing so already.

And so.

And so again, quite a while ago now.

Thus keeping with our mandate – to show you just about everything that is out there in the world of curling – we present the blog page... and with it your chance to vote.

PHOTO: Denmark’s Camilla Jensen (left) and Madeleine Dupont in Page playoff action Friday night in Gangneung