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Curling Legends Podcast
Conversations with the players and storytellers who shaped Curling from the 1940’s to the modern era.
Apr 8, 2022
Episode 78 - Orest Meleschuk
Orest Meleschuk could accept when an opponent threw a good stone. But he was less tolerant when chaff from a corn broom turned a terrible miss into a made shot. In 1972 the luck of the chaff fell his way and together with third Dave Romano, second John Hanesiak and lead Pat Hailley, they won the 1972 Manitoba Tankard, Macdonald Brier and Air Canada Silver Broom (world championship). Orest reminisces on that magic season and recalls the famous "Labonte Boot." He shares thoughts on the 1989 Brier and a controversial burnt stone against BC's Rick Folk that may have cost his team (John Usackis, John Hyrich and Sean Meleshcuk) a trip to the playoffs. Plenty of tales from across the decades including his version of "Orest meets Ernie Richardson" along with thoughts on the modern era and why Orest believes curling is in trouble.
1 hr 40 min
Mar 24, 2022
Episode 77 - Georgina Wheatcroft
Georgina Wheatcroft always wanted to be an Olympian. Initially kept out of the evaluation camps, she needed a Scotties victory with Pat Sanders in 1987 to qualify for the first ever Canadian Olympic Curling Trials. She eventually reached her goal, winning bronze at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Georgina takes us through her journey, the high and lows, the close losses, running out of time at a skins game, and considers she might be the only player to have curled with both Joneses.
1 hr 48 min
Feb 28, 2022
Episode 76 - Don Lewis
Don Lewis was an innovator. Being a curling icemaker in the 1970s was as much art as science. Don learned the craft in Saskatchewan, honed his skills with winter sojourns to Toronto in the early sixties and eventually became head icemaker for 14 Briers and 18 World Championships. He was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1989 and later joined the CCA board, becoming President in 2001. Don passed away August 11, 2021. Before talking to Don (29:40) Kevin talks with Warren Hansen about his new book "Sticks 'n' Stones: The Battle for Curling to be an Olympic Sport...". Warren also shares thoughts on Don Lewis and Larry Wood. A guest on Episode 55, Larry passed away on February 15, 2022.
1 hr 49 min
Apr 24, 2021
Episode 75 - Erika Brown
Erika Brown started young. At the age of 15 she qualified for the 1988 Olympic Games and would compete in her first World Junior Championships a month after her appearance in Calgary. Erika shares her experiences growing up in the first family of Madison curling, playing third for Lisa Schoeneberg and Patti Lank, then returning to skip and reaching the Olympics 26 years after her first appearance. She looks back on a storied career of 14 World Championship appearances and 3 Olympic games, including 4 second place finishes, and the close calls that kept her from reaching the ultimate goal, a gold medal. This episode also includes an excerpt from podcast episode "Galleria Gold" from Rocks Across The Pond (84:00).
1 hr 36 min
Mar 12, 2021
Special Episode - Jim Wilson
There are many legendary nicknames in curling. The Wrench, Snake, Moose, Arrow, Ice Man and the Round-Mound-Of-Come-Around are only a few. But you may not have heard the legend of "Rock Bottom". Coach for Team Epping at the 2021 Tim Horton's Brier is Jim Wilson, aka R.B. Jim shares the origin of his nickname, some insight into Team Epping in the Brier bubble and considers a What If? for Wayne Middaugh's 1998 World Championship squad.
Feb 27, 2021
Episode 74 - Rae Kells/Donna Boyle
Rae Kells was prepared for the challenge. Her experience as a probations officer provided ideal training for work as a curling official. Her steady approach to controversial finishes at the 1993 Canadian Junior Women’s and ’94 Junior Men’s championships led to nearly 3 decades officiating regional, national, and international events, including four Olympic Winter Games. Rae was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 2019. Before talking to Rae (30:24), Kevin speaks to Donna Boyle about her involvement with production of the recently released documentary Sticks and Stones: The Battle for the Soul of Curling.
1 hr 21 min
Jan 25, 2021
Episode 73 - Don Aitken
Don Aitken misses corn brooms. With two players pounding in unison, the sound and rhythm was a thing of beauty. In the 1970s, Don practiced on linoleum during summer months and by winter, helped sweep up purple hearts, winning Quebec Provincial titles throughout the decade-first with skip Bill Kent and later Jim Ursel. His Brier championship victory came with Ursel, Art Lobel and Brian Ross, taking the title in their home city of Montreal in 1977. The Hall of Famer shares stories from early junior success and discovering drag effect in the 1960s, up to his final Brier appearances as a skip in the early 80s.
1 hr 22 min
Dec 28, 2020
Episode 72 - Terry Jones
Terry Jones wanted to have fun. As a kid he ran errands for the press box during the local baseball tournament and saw the thrill of being a sportswriter. Over his career "Jonesy" has covered it all, including succeeding Don "Buckets" Flemming as the curling scribe for the Edmonton Journal. Terry shares a secret to Don's success, reveals his own origin story, then weaves a history of curling in Northern Alberta, by way of his book World Curling Capital. A limited release, some copies are still available and can be purchased by contacting Curling Alberta. Terry was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 2019. This episode also includes Kevin's commentary on recent discourse about changing the Brier and Scotties (67:30) and an excerpt from podcast episode "Run it Back: 1997 Brier Final" from Rocks Across The Pond (84:00)
1 hr 39 min
Dec 3, 2020
Episode 71 - Elaine Dagg-Jackson
Elaine Dagg-Jackson pursued her passion to coach curling. The decision led her to amazing experiences across the globe and eventually her dream job as National Women's Coach with Curling Canada. Her introduction to the sport came from father Lyall, winner of the 1964 Brier and World Championship. Her first trip to the Scotties was in 1987 as the alternate for Pat Sanders, but it was her work with Julie Sutton in the early 90s that would raise her coaching development to new levels. Elaine shares how her path in curling was not always clear and reflects on the moments that ultimately led to her becoming one of the first professional coaches in the game.
1 hr 11 min
Nov 19, 2020
Episode 70 - Bert Gretzinger
Bert Gretzinger has a few stories to tell. Born in Winnipeg, he spent his middle-school years in Calgary and eventually landed in Vancouver, winning his first purple heart as vice for Bernie Sparkes in 1976. After moving to Kelowna, Bert next won the BC Provincials in 1989 with Rick Folk. They lost to the Ryan Express in the Brier final and when Pat moved to Kelowna, Bert was willing to drop to second to form a new team. With Gerry Richard at lead, their team of skips would compete in three straight Briers, including back-to-back finals against Russ Howard in 1993 and '94. Bert would finally skip a team to a Brier in 1999 and fall one game short of a chance at the Olympics in 2001. Bert tells stories of car spiels, calcuttas and his version of the rock handle controversy at the 1994 Brier. He also shares a lesson in gamesmanship from Bernie Sparkes.
1 hr 40 min
Nov 6, 2020
Episode 69 - Resby Coutts
Resby Coutts is a real life Les Nessman. Farm reporting was the primary job but having been a member of the Murray Nye team that lost the final of the 1981 Manitoba Tankard, curling was added to his radio duties. Resby shares how starting early at a one sheet club sparked a lifetime in the roaring game. We cover his playing years, the Brandon "Olympic" Trials, the story behind the first Brier and many other tales of Manitoba curling history. Resby is helping to fund the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame. Go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/manitoba-curling-hall-of-fame-museum-inc/p2p/most-notable-teams/ before December 5th to contribute and vote on Manitoba's Most Notable Team. You can also visit his website at http://www.thecurler.com/.
1 hr 29 min
Jul 16, 2020
Episode 68 - Lindsay Sparkes
Lindsay Sparkes was driven by a desire to improve rather than by competition. Leaving figure skating for curling she replaced judges with a scoreboard and by focusing on her own ability, eventually the winning took care of itself. Joined by childhood friends Dawn Knowles, Robin Klassen and Lorraine Bowles, Lindsay skipped her young team to the Provincial and Canadian Championship in 1976. They repeated in 1979, with the added pressure of representing Canada at the first ever Women's World Championship in Perth, Scotland. Lindsay shares stories from those early years and her later success, winning the Worlds and Olympics with Linda Moore, and why she stepped away from competition and became a national coach.
1 hr 28 min
Jun 15, 2020
Episode 67 - Glen Jackson/Doug Wilson
Glen Jackson was young and brash but made a mature decision when it mattered. A coin flip to determine who would be third for Paul Gowsell on their high school rink went to Neil Houston and Glen chose to stay with the team. Joined by Kelly Stearne at lead, the long haired teenagers with their push brooms would go on to win Canadian and World Junior Championships while taking home cash from some of the greatest teams of the era. Glen shares his version of legendary Gowsell stories like the van, the Van Winkle, the dog and the pizza. Before talking to Glen (30:45), I speak with transplanted Canadian living in Scotland, Doug Wilson (4:02). Doug works through his personal psychoanalysis of curling strategy with other curling fans on his Facebook group Daily Curling Puzzle.
1 hr 26 min
May 16, 2020
Episode 66 - Matt Hames/Warren Hansen
Matt Hames was a mad man. Once a copywriter, just like fictional TV character Don Draper, Matt gave up three martini lunches at Bay and Bloor for six packs and road trips to bonspiels in Thunder Bay and a chance to make the Olympics. After falling short to reach the 1997 Olympic Trials with John Base, Matt landed with Scott Patterson and kept pursuing curling for a time, but eventually life took him to Upstate New York. We discuss Matt's journey and also how we met; not on the ice in 1995 when I lived in Toronto, but on his Curling Zoom party, which has become a twice weekly event during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before talking to Matt (40:57), I catch-up with my guest from Episodes 7 and 8, Warren Hansen (14:55). We discuss his new podcast with Kevin Martin, Inside Curling (hosted by Jim Jerome), and delve into Canada's Curling Hall of Fame. We also discuss rule changes, such as freezing a centre guard to discourage the tick-shot. My article that examines this rule (mentioned in the show…
1 hr 27 min
Apr 26, 2020
Episode 65 - John Ferguson
John Ferguson developed management skills from behind the tee-line. Dealing with a contentious boardroom seemed easy after numerous years as vice for two of the most eccentric skips in curling history. As third for Paul Gowsell, John won the 1977 Canadian Juniors and 1978 Uniroyal World championships. He eventually teamed with Ed Lukowich and joined by Neil Houston and Brent Syme, they won the 1986 World Championship and captured the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. John shares stories from across his curling days and gets to reminisce while watching a clip from Fast Eddy Curling Tips.
1 hr 37 min
Mar 21, 2020
Episode 64 - Guy Hemmings
Guy Hemmings found curling by accident. Having moved to Montreal for University, during a Sunday morning walk he saw a sign to try curling at the Outremont Club. This chance encounter would eventually lead him to skip Quebec to the Brier finals. Twice. Guy, along with Pierre Charette, Guy Thibaudeau and Dale Ness, won over the crowds in Winnipeg (1998) and Edmonton (1999) with their play on the ice during the day and in the Patch each night. Guy shares his passion for the sport and describes what it's like being a celebrity in Western Canada while going unnoticed in your hometown.
1 hr 3 min
Mar 1, 2020
Episode 63 - Alison Goring
Alison Goring likes to be around people. Socializing was also a form of sports psychology. She couldn't face the alternative of quiet solitude in a hotel room the night before a big game. Alison won the 1983 Canada Winter Games and Canadian Juniors with Kristin Holman (now Turcotte), Cheryl McPherson and Lynda Armstrong. Seven years later, with Andrea Lawes at second, Kristen, Cheryl and Alison would break through, winning Ontario and the Scott Tournament of Hearts. Her last Scotties ended with a finals loss to Sandra Schmirler in 1997; that team included Kim Moore along with Lori Eddy and Mary Chilvers of the 2 Girls and a Game podcast. Alison shares stories across her career including her greatest miss, how to over manage a time clock and tips for getting bar service at the infamous Welton Beauchamp Bonspiel. Cheryl joins for a brief cameo at the end as we try to recall who they beat in the final of the 1990 Ontario Tankard. Sparked by Alison's lesson from Ed Werenich at the 19…
1 hr 26 min
Jan 28, 2020
Episode 62 - Julie Skinner
Julie Skinner was always driven. Recognizing this, she was hesitant to return to curling when Kelley Law asked her to play third years after she'd stepped away. With the support of her family, Julie jumped head first into her second act and it led to a World Championship and Olympic medal. We discuss the early success with wins at two Junior Canadian Championships including a World Juniors in 1988, followed by her first Scotties victory in 1991. Julie explains why she left in her prime, why she returned then left again, and all the hurdles that came along the way including the bizarre method used to determine tie-breakers at the 1992 Scotties.
1 hr 25 min
Jan 13, 2020
Episode 61 - Don Bartlett, Part 3
Don Bartlett returns for more conversation. He shares thoughts on the Brier boycott era and Team Martin with Carter Rycroft. Don discusses the Ferbey Four, playing a bonspiel with Paul Gowsell, split times and 5 rock Free Guard Zone. You can also hear Don Bartlett on Episodes 39 and 40.
Jan 7, 2020
Episode 60 - Peter Gallant
Peter Gallant never took to skating. His father was a hockey coach and while his older brother reached for a stick and puck, he chose a broom and slider. His choice led to nine Brier appearances with Prince Edward Island and a Canadian Mixed title in 1987. Peter started coaching with son Brett, winning a Canadian Junior Championship in 2009. Years later Peter landed a role with South Korea where he coached Team Kim Eun-jung to a silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in their home country. Peter shares stories from his early years, the Brier experiences and provides a glimpse into PEI curling history.
Nov 14, 2019
Episode 59 - Ray Grant
Ray Grant's father Andy felt one trip to the Brier was enough. After skipping Ontario at the first Regina Brier in 1955, Andy's experience was so fantastic he believed every competitive curler should be given a chance to go. However, they did return to the 1958 Brier in Victoria, with Murray Roberts now skipping. A loss to Northern Ontario in their final draw kept them from what could have been a three team play-off with Alberta's Matt Baldwin and the young Terry Braunstein Rink from Manitoba. Ray returned as skip to his third Brier in 1965 in Saskatoon. He shares stories of those years, trips on the Brier train, great teams they faced and the many big moments along the way.
Nov 6, 2019
Episode 58 - Bernie Sparkes
Bernie Sparkes loves the Brier. From his first purple heart as second for Ron Northcott in 1966 to his twelfth and final appearance skipping British Columbia in 1987, every visit to the Canadian Men's Curling Championship meant as much as the last. Bernie shares stories of the highs and lows at the top of the sport for over two decades. In between we'll cover Fred Storey sweeping techniques and how to repair blisters, along with practical jokes and the importance of team dynamics. Bernie also reveals a ploy he used to generate offense and explains why it didn't work on Paul Gowsell.
1 hr 18 min
Oct 7, 2019
Episode 57 - Earle Morris
Earle Morris always knew how to prepare. Years before appearing in a Brier he studied the best teams, collecting binders of notes on how to approach the game. Travelling with the military made it difficult to establish himself but eventually Earle skipped Team Manitoba at the Brier in 1980. He won Quebec in 1982 as third for Don Aitken and returned again in 1985 as skip of Ontario, becoming the first player to represent three different provinces at the Brier. Earle shares stories from his upbringing in Saskatchewan, through the Brier runs to his brief tenure with the Canadian Curling Association ahead of the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. We also discuss his development as a coach and thoughts on team chemistry. Stay tuned at the end for an extra tale from the 2005 Olympic Trials and analysis of the final end from the 2009 Mens World Championship.
1 hr 49 min
Sep 23, 2019
Episode 56 - Pat Sanders
Pat Sanders was always determined to knock over obstacles. Still a knee slider when starting university, she changed her delivery and fought to make the school team, later moving from toe slide to flat foot to improve even further. Reaching the womens ranks, she by-passed the pecking order of positions and skipped at an age most would have started at lead. In 1985 she won a Canadian mixed as third for Steve Skillings and then led her rink of Louise Herlinveaux, Georgina Hawkes and Deb Massullo to a Canadian and World Championship in 1987. As Team Canada the following season, their toxic chemistry put them under the eye of the Canadian Curling Association. Despite a black cloud over the squad, they lost the 1988 Scotties final on last rock. Pat and Georgina then joined with lead Melissa Soligo and young phenom Julie Sutton as skip. By the late stages of the 1989 Scotties however, Julie had been demoted and Pat skipped the team to a tie-breaker where they lost to Saskatchewan. Pat shares…
Jul 12, 2019
Epsiode 55 - Larry Wood
Larry Wood doesn't like puff pieces. He became editor of the Tankard Times, a daily newspaper at the Brier, on one condition; he wasn't going to pull any punches. As columnist at the Calgary Herald, Larry was scribe to many of the greatest moments in curling history. His first Brier was 1960 in Fort William (now Thunder Bay) and he only missed two in the next 55 years. Larry describes his early days in curling and the path that led him to cover those many Briers, Scotties and World Championships. We look back at some of the great players, ponder the evolution of the sport, and Larry reveals what happened at a secret initiation ceremony in Scotland.
1 hr 50 min
May 2, 2019
Episode 54 - Harvey Mazinke, Part 2
In Part 2 of my conversation with Harvey Mazinke we begin with a Paul Gowsell story, discuss the original Labatt Brier cresting, re-writing of the "burnt stone" rule, hogline officials and the controversy surrounding the qualifying for the 1988 Olympics. Harvey was President of the Canadian Curling Association from 1987-1988 and takes us behind the scenes from that era. We eventually head back to 1975 and '76 for a few more Brier tales.
1 hr 3 min
Apr 18, 2019
Episode 53 - Harvey Mazinke, Part 1
Harvey Mazinke influenced curling as a player and a builder. Growing up in Manitoba, Harvey reached the Brier in 1964 with Bruce Hudson, but moved to Saskatchewan a few years later. Eventually he built a team of Billy Martin at third, George Achtymichuk at second and Dan Klippenstein at lead. In 1973 they broke through to win the Brier in Edmonton. The reward was a return trip home to Regina for the World's where an unbeaten record was spoiled by a loss to Sweden in the final game. In Part 1 of our conversation, Harvey talks about that championship game and how an alarm clock may have changed the outcome. He explains his role as the first player representative for the CCA and shares details of the change in Brier sponsorship from Macdonald Tobacco to the Labatt Brewing Company in 1980. Harvey also gives new insight on why Brier stones during the 1970s were such a dilemma.
1 hr 15 min
Mar 29, 2019
Episode 52 - Anne Merklinger
Anne Merklinger understands the mind of an athlete. As a swimmer she competed with the University of South Carolina and Canada's national team, a choice that delayed her curling pursuits for four years. Eventually Anne returned to Ottawa and skipped a team that would battle the best in Canada for a decade. Her rink of third Theresa Breen, second Patti McKnight and lead Audrey Frey won four Ontario Provincials, losing a semifinal (1993) and two finals ('98 and '00) at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Anne's career in sport management led to a role as director of Canoe Kayak Canada and then to her current position as CEO of Own the Podium, Canada's Olympic development program. We discuss the difficult losses, Ontario rivalries, the early days of the Womens Tour and the positive influence Olympians can have on Canadians.
Mar 17, 2019
Epsiode 51 - Bob Weeks/Mickey Duzyj
Bob Weeks joins Kevin to discuss TSN's recent attempt to rank Canada's Greatest Curlers (35:45). Bob explains how the process came together and they discuss the many challenges of trying to rank curlers from different eras. Eventually they dig into the categories and compare their choices with the results. Before talking to Bob, Kevin is joined by Mickey Duzyj, creator of the Netflix sports documentary series LOSERS. Episode 4 is "Stone Cold", inspired by the first episode of Curling Legends Podcast. It tells the story of Pat Ryan, centered around his epic battle with Al Hackner in the 1985 Brier final. Mickey shares the origins on the series and reflects on his introduction to curling culture. You can hear Pat Ryan on Episode 1 of Curlng Legends Podcast. You can also check out Rick Lang on Episode 48 and get Don Bartlett's story of the Hackner Double in Episode 39. Be sure to get yourself a copy of "The Brier" by Bob Weeks and check out some of his other books, Hurry Hard, Curling f…
1 hr 31 min
Feb 28, 2019
Episode 50 - Rick Folk
Rick Folk was meant to throw the last rock. His ability to focus while remaining calm under pressure worked for both golf and curling. After coming up short in his first two Briers (1978 and '79), Rick, along with Ron Mills and the Wilson Brothers (Tom and Jim) became the first team to lift the Labatt Tankard Trophy in 1980. Rick's focus was tested at the World Championships in Moncton, where the Labonte Curse had held Canada winless since 1972. After moving to British Columbia, Rick won four more Purple Hearts, capturing the title and Worlds again in 1994 with Pat Ryan, Bert Gretzinger and Gerry Richard. Rick talks about his early days in Saskatoon, the battles against Merv Mann, Harold Worth, Les Rogers and Paul Gowsell. He shares thoughts on the first Olympic Trials of 1987 and the "boring" Brier final of 1989. Then we dive deep into the controversies surrounding the 1993 and '94 Briers. Rick explains how ice-makers, tie-breakers, choosing rocks and changing handles had him transfor…
1 hr 29 min
Feb 14, 2019
Episode 49 - Bob Picken
Bob Picken had a voice for curling. An accomplished skip who nearly won a Purple Heart at the 1963 Manitoba Provincials, Bob became widely known for his other contributions to the sport. His distinct broadcasting sound covered many Briers and World Championships and his involvement with the CCA and the International Curling Federation helped usher in the Uniroyal World Junior Men's Championship in the early 70's. Bob shares stories of his curling days and travelling abroad with other crew members of the Canadian curling media: Larry Wood, Scotty Harper, Don "Buckets" Flemming, Larry Tucker, Jack Matheson and "Cactus" Jack Wells, among others. Bob passed away on January 30th, 2019. https://passages.winnipegfreepress.com/passage-details/id-261740/PICKEN_ROBERT
1 hr 4 min
Jan 14, 2019
Episode 48 - Rick Lang
Rick Lang had an awkward start with success. His first purple heart was won as third for Bill Tetley, but he had spared for Tom Todd and the uncertainty of who would go to the Brier hung over that evening's banquet. Rick did make the trip and their rink would win the 1975 Brier in Fredericton but fall short at the World Championships a few weeks later. The next season Rick was back on the open market. Eventually he teamed with Al Hackner and they found immediate success, reaching the 1980 Brier final before losing to Rick Folk. After a heartbreaking loss to Kerry Burtnyk the next season, Rick and Al, along with second Bob Nichol and lead Bruce Kennedy, finally won the Brier in 1982. In 1985, with the new front end of Ian Tetley and Pat Perroud, Rick and Al once again reached the Brier final and faced Pat Ryan from Alberta. Rick talks about the most famous shot in Brier history and shares stories from throughout their playing days. We cover the Olympic Trials of 1987, the…
1 hr 28 min
Dec 20, 2018
Episode 47 - Ron Anton
Ron Anton was the original boy wonder. He started skipping a men's team at the age of sixteen. With his father at third, they reached the semifinals of the Swift Current Carspiel in 1959, holding their own against the great Matt Baldwin. Matt's third in the event, Hec Gervais, returned to skipping a year later and recruited Ron as his vice. Joined with Ray Werner and Wally Ursuliak, they would represent Alberta at the next two Briers, winning in 1961. Ron and Hec teamed up again in 1974, this time with Warren Hansen and Darrel Sutton, winning a second Canadian Championship. Ron shares many stories from his time with Hector, their battles against the Richardsons and his coaching experience during the 1967 Canadian School Boys with Stan Trout and later with Team Canada at the Calgary Olympic Winter Games in 1988.
1 hr 27 min
Dec 3, 2018
Episode 46 - Lloyd Yerama/Brian Chick
Lloyd Yerama would sooner curl than eat. The second of 13 children, Lloyd grew up in Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, learning to curl on a unique two sheeter that had the hockey rink sandwiched in between. It was in 1968 that Lloyd and teammates Roy Berry and Jack Yuill picked up Burke Parker as their fourth for the local zone playdowns and found themselves representing Manitoba at the Brier in Kelowna. Lloyd shares their Cinderella story and what happened next, along with his early tutelage under 1938 and '53 Brier winner Ab Gowanlock. Before getting to Lloyd, Brain Chick joins for a quick chat about his new book "Written in Stone: A Modern History of Curling". It's an oral history of curling's past three decades as told by forty-eight of the biggest names in the sport.
1 hr 8 min
Nov 17, 2018
Episode 45 - Robin Wilson
Robin Wilson grew up a fighter. She was active in supporting social change during the early 1970's and, after earning her business degree, applied for positions in male dominant companies. Her path eventually led to one of the greatest sponsorships in sport. Robin met Lindsay Davie at the North Shore Winter Club while in their early teens. Robin, her sister Dawn, Lindsay and Lorraine Bowles would eventually capture the 1976 Macdonald Lassie. In 1979, they won again and were able to represent Canada at the first ever Women's World Curling Championship. Robin is the Leadership Director for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation. Visit http://www.sandraschmirler.org/english/in-their-own-words/ to read the incredible stories of babies and parents who are helped by the Foundation. You can donate online or add a $10 donation to your cell phone bill by texting the word SANDRA to 45678.
1 hr 3 min
Nov 1, 2018
Episode 44 - Pierre Charette
Pierre Charette may have been a little feisty. Regardless of his position for Team Quebec at the Brier (and he played them all) he was intensely focused on trying to win. During a phenomenal run in the late nineties, he nearly won it all. Teamed with Guy Hemmings and the front end of Dale Ness and Guy Thibaudeau, Pierre reached two consecutive Brier finals in 1998 and '99. Pierre reflects on the early days, his Brier experiences, the evolution of the free guard zone and the beginning of the Grand Slams.
1 hr 14 min
Oct 18, 2018
Episode 43 - Ron Green
Ron Green grew up in the Toronto curling scene of the 1960s. After a close loss in the Ontario school boys, the opposing skip asked if he would join up the following year. Ron would go on to curl with Paul Savage for over a decade, with three trips to the Brier and a lifetime of memories. Ron talks about his early heartbreak, just missing out on a Purple Heart in 1969. Then he explains how the team with Paul, Bob Thomson and Ed Werenich was formed and touches on the battles they had, sometimes with their competition, and sometimes with each other.
1 hr 5 min
Oct 5, 2018
Episode 42 - Linda Moore
Linda Moore was always willing to have an open mind. After losing the Scotties final in 1986, instead of a direct entry to the first ever Olympic Trials, the Moore rink had to participate in the evaluation camp before qualifying to compete. When told in advance they could be split up as a result, rather than battle the process they went ahead and kept a positive attitude. The result was a gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. Linda reflects on that experience and the lessons that helped get them to that moment. We cover from Linda's early days as a junior in North Vancouver through to her years as a broadcaster with TSN. Linda shares some Ray Turnbull stories, her thoughts on shooting percentages and explains what led to her departure from the booth.
1 hr 42 min
Sep 20, 2018
Episode 41 - Ian Tetley
Ian Tetley isn't afraid to give his input. Sometimes a front-end player has to speak out before the wrong shot is called. According to Ian, his teammates were often too quiet to speak up...so he had to. His enthusiasm for curling began while watching father Bill win the Brier in 1975. When he and teammate Pat Perroud got a call to join Al Hackner, he went to his first Brier, and won. Ian went on to win three World Championships with different skips and left a legacy of double peels (often, it's been said, because he usually missed the first one). We'll discuss the early days in Thunder Bay, the famous Hackner Double in 1985, the first Canadian Olympic Trials, and tales from Toronto during his time playing for Ed Werenich and later Wayne Middaugh.
1 hr 10 min
Sep 7, 2018
Episode 40 - Don Bartlett, Part 2
In Part 2 of my conversation with Don Bartlett, we cover the boycott years, dig deeper into the Ferbey rivalry and reflect on his Olympic experiences. Don will also talk runback strategy, handling emotions in big moments and eventually weigh in on the greatest teams and players of past generations.
1 hr 9 min
Sep 6, 2018
Episode 39 - Don Bartlett, Part 1
Don Bartlett's greatest skill might be assessing talent. He recognized early on that Pat Ryan and later, Kevin Martin, were going to be the best skips in Alberta. Don had a short run with Pat and eventually joined Kevin in 1990, starting a run that would last 16 seasons and include 7 Briers, two Worlds and two Olympic Games. In Part 1, we cover Don's early development and the success and disappointments of the 1990's. We dig into corn broom controversies, Randy Ferbey's brief stint on Team Martin and Don shares his viewing perspective on the famous Hackner Double as fifth man for Alberta at the 1985 Brier.
1 hr 20 min
Apr 29, 2018
Episode 38 - Barry Fry
Barry Fry was known as "The Snake" for his unique version of the tuck-slide. As a young skip he teamed with Orest Meleschuk, reaching the provincial semifinals while in their early twenties. He later helped Rod Hunter bring Don Duguid out of retirement in 1969. Over the years Barry watched friends and ex-teamates win Purple Hearts, wondering if it would ever be his turn. He won the Canadian Mixed in 1973 and finally conquered Manitoba in 1979 with Bill Carey, Gordon Sparkes and Bryan Wood. They would capture the Brier in Ottawa, the last sponsored by Macdonald Tobacco. Disappointment followed at the Silver Broom and years later his legendary rink of Don Duguid, Terry Braunstein and Ray Turnbull fell short in the Canadian Senior Championship. Barry shares many stories, including "Orest meets Ernie Richardson", "Ray offers advice" and tales from his year as a hired player for Dr. Joe Zbacnik in Fargo, North Dakota.
1 hr 3 min
Mar 31, 2018
Episode 37 - Morning Classes/David Padgett
Welcome to Morning Classes. Since 1948, members and friends of the Fort William Curling Club in Thunder Bay have held classes each morning during the Brier. During my detention, Fred Coulson and Alfie Childs share the history of this tradition and tell a few stories as well. The next time you attend the Brier, try to wake up early at least one day and attend a class. David Padgett started on his path to Ice Maker over 50 years ago. He began in Lindsay, Ontario at the age of twelve with his father, moving to the Avonlea in Toronto and eventually in 1980 to the Bayview Golf & Curling Club. It was there he invented the original "Little Rock", a plastic composite stone that would simulate a real one at half the weight. David shares the evolution of ice making, thoughts on Shorty Jenkins, and explains the original controversy over conditioning rocks.
1 hr 2 min
Feb 24, 2018
Episode 36 - Joan McCusker
Joan McCusker takes humour seriously. The 1998 Gold medal winning Schmirler Rink almost never happened because Joan and Marcia were concerned that Jan and Sandra were too intense. Eventually they agreed and everything clicked. Their team had balance, with Joan providing levity when it was needed most. She shares her days growing up on the farm and learning to curl at a two sheeter. We cover her University days, playing with sister Cathy and the early Scotties and Olympic experiences. Joan reveals the team's emotional turmoil the morning of the finals for the 1997 Olympic Trials and shares a few road stories as well. Joan is a broadcaster for Sportsnet/CBC and you can hear her coverage throughout the season at major events including Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling.
1 hr 5 min
Feb 18, 2018
Episode 35 - Pal Trulsen
Pal Trulsen was supposed to be a ski jumper. It was the sport of his father. Admittedly, Pal was a little too husky and grew tired of walking to the top of the hill for each run. At 14 he and three friends (Flemming Davanger, Stig-Arne Gunnestad and Kjell Berg) discovered a four sheet curling club and took to the sport, eventually reaching the Uniroyal World Junior Championships in 1980. They returned in 1981 and then again in 1983, where they won a Silver medal, losing to Canada's John Base in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Pal would return to the World stage as fifth man for his junior teammates at the 1992 Olympics and the Worlds in 1993. Pal finally appeared at the Worlds as a skip in 1997 and again from 1999 to 2004, taking home a Silver and two Bronze medals during that run, while also winning Gold for Norway at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. Pal shares his early experiences, reflects on his temperament, recalls playing the great teams of his era and being invited…
Feb 7, 2018
Episode 34 - John Aasand
John Aassand doesn't live in the past. In 1972 four young players from Grafton, North Dakota competed in their first mens playdowns. From State to US Nationals and then to Germany, their magical run would eventually land them in the finals of the World Championship against Canada's Orest Meleschuk. Johnny at second, his brother Frank at third, lead Ray Morgan and skip Robert Labonte took a 9-7 lead into the 10th end. After what was thought to be the final rock of the game, with players preparing to shake hands, it appeared USA had won. In a dark twist, however, Labonte jumped in celebration, slipped on his landing and kicked a Canada stone. Meleschuk was awarded two points and the game went to extra ends, with Canada taking the Silver Broom trophy. John will share the story of what happened during that moment, and the repercussions for both teams in the years that followed. You'll hear stories from the Hibbing bonspiel, Barry Fry and learn why the team John skipped to…
1 hr 5 min
Jan 31, 2018
Episode 33 - Kim Kelly
Kim Kelly understands what it takes to overcome adversity. Her father in the armed forces, Kelly moved often and had to adapt to new people and surroundings every few years. The local military curling club was always available to hone her skills and make new friends. After high school, Kelly returned to her birthplace of Halifax, Nova Scotia and eventually joined Nancy Delahunt, Mary-Anne Arsenault and Colleen Jones to form one of the most successful teams of all time. From 1999 to 2004, Team Jones won 5 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2 World Championships, overcoming the challenges of being a maritime team who rarely traveled. Kim recalls her early years, joining Colleen, and the obstacles they faced, including criticism of their style of play. She'll take us through the struggles and triumphs during the early years, the eventual split and subsequent reunion in 2013. They would again join forces to compete in Seniors a few years later, winning Canada in 2016 and the W…
1 hr 15 min
Jan 26, 2018
Episode 32 - Bob Cole
Bob Cole is more than the iconic play-by-play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada. As a young broadcaster in St. John's, Newfoundland, Bob was introduced to curling and immediately became hooked. Despite his late start to the sport, regular practice led to early success with a trip to the Canadian Mixed in 1965, only the second time it was contested. Bob improved his game and eventually landed at skip, leading his team to the 1971 Brier in Quebec City. Afterwards, he recruited a youngster originally hailing from Nova Scotia named Jack MacDuff. He and Jack reached the Canadian Mixed but lost the provincial finals in 1973. They split before Bob returned to the 1975 Brier in Fredericton, NB. Jack returned with his own team to Regina the following year, shocking everyone with the first ever Brier victory for Newfoundland. Bob takes us through those Brier experiences and shares his love for the game. We discuss how great skips have the ability to control their nerves and Bob recalls a shot…
Jan 13, 2018
Episode 31 - Marilyn Bodogh, Part 2
In Part 2 of my conversation with Marilyn Bodogh, we'll dive into the 1996 Scotties playoffs against Connie Laliberte and Cheryl Bernard. She explains how to deal with trash talk from Dordi Nordby and warns of the dangers from Chinese food. Marilyn shares her thoughts on Colleen Jones, the Olympic Trials, both Battles of the Sexes and reveals what to wear under your kilt when you are on the ice.
Jan 6, 2018
Episode 30 - Marilyn Bodogh, Part 1
Marilyn Bodogh may have appeared brash, opinionated, outspoken or a little unfiltered. But behind the newsworthy quotes and smiles for the camera was a competitive drive to rival any of her contemporaries. Learning the game in St. Catherines, Marilyn and her older sister Christine had early junior success, reaching the Canada Winter Games in 1971. In 1980 the sisters appeared in the Canadian Ladies Curling Association Championship (two years before Scott Paper took over sponsorship). Marilyn eventually moved to skipping and in 1986 she led Christine, Kathy McEdwards and Jan Augustyn to victory at the Scott Tournament of Hearts in London, Ontario. Gold would follow at the Worlds in Kelowna, but it would be another 10 years before Marilyn captured another Scotties, then teamed with Kim Gellard, Corie Beveridge and Jane Hooper-Perroud. In Part 1 we'll cover the early years, the major victories, and teach listeners how to curl in kilts.
1 hr 25 min
Dec 21, 2017
Episode 29 - Alfie Phillips
Alfie Phillips Jr. had a tough act to follow. His father, Alf Sr., was an Olympian diver, a carnival showman and, despite taking up the game in his 40s, a provincial curling champion. In 1956, Ontario was poised to win the Brier for the first time since 1939, but Billy Walsh from Manitoba made what became one of the greatest shots in Brier history. Alfie joined up with his dad shortly after that loss, then later formed his own rink with John Ross, Ron "Moon" Manning and Keith Riley. In 1967 Alfie did one better than his father, winning the Brier in Hull, Quebec. The Phillips rink played a draw strategy that hadn't been seen before in Ontario, and one that left an impression on a another young member of the Parkway Curling Club, Paul Savage. We cover the big wins and losses and the battles over prize money and what it took to win over the Ontario Curling Association and their efforts to keep curling an "amateur" sport. Alfie shares the history of the Toronto Curling Mafia,…
1 hr 11 min
Dec 13, 2017
Episode 28 - Jim Ursel
Jim Ursel had one of the smoothest deliveries of his era. He came a long way from the early days of knee sliding on a two sheet rink of natural ice in Glenella, Manitoba. After moving to Winnipeg, Jim improved enough to win the 1954 Provincial School Boys Championship. We discuss Jim's early days and his development as a player, eventually landing at the famous Strathcona Club. He recalls teaming up with Norm Houk and playing in his first Brier in 1962. We reflect on his move to Montreal, the many Quebec provincial victories and his Brier win in 1977. Later, Jim returns to Winnipeg where he re-teamed with Norm and nearly won another Purple Heart with their Senior team. Jim adds his perspective on fitness, coaching, psychology and thoughts on the modern game.
1 hr 8 min
Nov 23, 2017
Episode 27 - Lorraine Lang
Lorraine Lang could be considered part of the first family of Thunder Bay curling. Despite starting later than most, Lorraine has put together a resume to rival her spouse. While husband Rick had success playing third for Al Hackner, Lorraine appeared in 8 Scotties, including 2 victories as vice for Heather Houston in 1988 and '89. Along with Diane Adams and Tracy Kennedy, they took home silver from their first trip to the World Championship in Glasgow and a gold the following year in Milwaukee. Lorraine talks about her early years in the sport, the challenges of competing out of Northern Ontario, repeating as Team Canada, and shares tales from the Ontario women's curling scene during that era. We reflect on her resurgence in the mid-00's when Lorraine joined the young Krista McCarville rink, leading to three more Scotties appearances, and the transition to becoming their team coach following the Olympic Trials in 2009. For more on the Heather Houston Rink, you can also check out this…
1 hr 17 min
Nov 13, 2017
Episode 26 - Peja Lindholm
Peja Lindholm began curling outdoors at age 11. Learning the game with his friends, Peja eventually led teams to three World Junior Championships, capturing gold, silver and bronze. With his longtime teammates Thomas Nordin, Magnus Swartling and Peter Narup, he captured three World Mens titles for Sweden in 1997, 2001 and 2004. Peja discusses his early days and the development of both his game and that of European curling during the 80's and 90's. We discuss the transition to the free guard zone and why he had success against Martin and Ferbey, while struggling against other Canadian foes. Peja shares his thoughts on the Continental Cup and Olympics, before revealing the origins of the plate dance.
Nov 2, 2017
Episode 25 - Arnold Asham
Arnold Asham is a curler, dancer, inventor, showman and in his words, an opportunist. From his early days in Reedy Creek, Manitoba, Arnold dreamed he would be a millionaire in the sports industry. Curling became his passion and eventually the red brick slider, along with hard work and dedication to what to others deemed a foolish pursuit, led to his financial success. But there was also a desire to compete against the great teams that wore his corporate logo. When he teamed up with a young David Nedohin to compete on a fledgling World Tour that he helped keep afloat, Arnold proved he could do battle with the best in the country. Arnold shares his vision for how the Olympic champions of the future will be developed, and his philosophy of living your passions, which for him include the Asham Stompers dance troupe and helping empower others from indigenous communities. You can find Asham Curling at https://www.asham.com/ and information on the Stompers at http://www.as…
1 hr 28 min
Oct 26, 2017
Episode 24 - Wally Ursuliak
Wally Ursuliak has had quite a life. From Brier Champion with Hector Gervais, to corn broom salesman, camp instructor, then curling missionary in Japan to selling granite from Ailsa Craig, all while running an amusement ride business across Alberta. We'll cover Wally's introduction to curling, and his relationship with Hector, Ray, Don and Herb Olson. He shares stories of the big games and many characters of that era, before explaining why he left the competitive game to become a builder. Wally explains why he, Ray and Don taught the flat foot (and not the tuck slide), and who created the no lift delivery that is prevalent today. We'll find out how Japan started curling outdoors and you'll learn more about curling rocks than you possibly wanted to know.
1 hr 30 min
Mar 30, 2017
Episode 23 - Paul Savage, Part 2
In Part 2 of my conversation with Paul Savage, we'll cover the 1987 Olympic Curling Trials and the controversy surrounding the qualification process. We talk about the early days of the Skins format, the Battle of the Sexes and Paul's experience as fifth man with the Mike Harris Rink during their run to a Silver Medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. There are a few extras after our talk as well. Paul shares stories from the Kurl for Kids Celebrity Bonspiel, Men With Brooms, the World Lefthanders Curling Championship and explains how to perform the plate dance. At the very end is an excerpt from Episode 8 where Warren Hansen discusses his version of the 1987 Trials, which I reference with Paul at the beginning of the show.
1 hr 13 min
Mar 27, 2017
Episode 22 - Paul Savage, Part 1
Paul Savage always believed curling should be a fun game. From his early days at the Parkway Club, he learned from Alfie Phillips Jr. how to generate points from drawing around guards. The result was his nickname "The Round Mound of Come Around", and four Brier appearances as skip for Ontario during the 1970s. For three of those events, the squad included a young firefighter from Benito, Manitoba. Ed Werenich would leave Paul's rink near the end of the 70s, but they would rejoin in 1982 to create the "Dream Team" with John Kawaja and Neil Harrison. They would win the Brier and World Championship in 1983, taking home loads of cash and leaving legendary tales in their wake. In Part 1 of our conversation, Paul shares stories of his youth, early Briers, traveling west for cashpiels and battles with the OCA. In our conversation, we discuss the origins of Paul's book, "Curling Hack to House". Must reads include Jean Sonmor's "Burned by the Rock" and both "The Brier" a…
1 hr 7 min
Mar 20, 2017
Episode 21 - Cathy King
Cathy King keeps on curling. Growing up in Edmonton, she played many sports. Winter evenings included time spent around the dinner table discussing curling strategy with the whole family. Older brothers Robb and Chris won the 1974 Canadian School Boys and when Cathy skipped her team to a successful National Junior Womens Championship in 1977, curling appeared to be near the top of her list. After a repeat win in 1978, the only thing missing was a World Championship, but that wouldn't be available to Junior Women for another decade. A few years out of juniors, Cathy got married, had kids, and life seemed to hold her back from reaching those previous levels of success. She continued to practice and focus on the game however, and after knocking on the door a few times, Cathy finally won Alberta and reached the Scott Tournament of Hearts in 1995. Expectations were low, but a hot streak that included 5 games in 27 hours led her squad from 2 tie-breakers to the brink of a Canadi…
1 hr 36 min
Mar 13, 2017
Episode 20 - Don Duguid
Don Duguid was curling before the Allies took Berlin. In 1943, at 8 years old, Don and brothers Gerry and Lorne would throw rocks at the CPR Curling Club where their father was the ice-maker. Initially Don fell out of the hack with two feet, but eventually his father helped him develop the original Manitoba tuck delivery that is still seen today. His parents moved him to the Granite curling club and at twenty he was recruited by Howard Wood Sr, then 70 years young. There was a Brier appearance with Howie Wood Jr. in 1957 and a win with Terry Braunstein in 1965, but by the late 60s Don was ready to spend more time at the office. Then Rod Hunter called and asked Duguie to skip him, Jim Pettapiece and Bryan Wood and within 18 months the squad would capture two Canadian and World Championships. Don will share experiences from his playing days and curling schools through to his time as an announcer with the CBC (and later NBC Sports). We'll also get Don's take on the modern er…
1 hr 35 min
Mar 6, 2017
Episode 19 - Jack MacDuff
Jack MacDuff is a true Maritimer. He now lives in New Brunswick, was born in Nova Scotia but is perhaps best known for his short stay in Newfoundland during the 1970's when he skipped the first and (so far) only Brier winning team from that province. Growing up in Lunenburg, NS, Jack would finish playing hockey, then swap his skates for Ken Watson curling boots and cross over to the rink to throw rocks until days end. In those practice sessions, he would play 12 end games against the Richardsons. Years later, as the driver for Team MacDuff at the 1976 Brier in Regina, Sam Richardson helped provide confidence for Jack and his squad as they accomplished the impossible for Newfoundland & Labrador, winning the Canadian Men's Curling Championship. Jack will share stories from his early experiences, his first Brier appearance in 1972, and a game by game account of that legendary victory in 1976, along with the week long party that followed. For more on Jack MacDuff, check out…
1 hr 5 min
Feb 27, 2017
Episode 18 - Don Barcome
Don Barcome always loved to curl. He was introduced to the game after his family moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota in the mid-60's. By the age of 11 he was playing with mens teams in the local club league, and by 13 he was skipping against Orest Meleschuk in the fourth event final of the Hibbing Last Chance Bonspiel. His first taste of International competition came in 1976 when his team of brother Earl and Gary Mueller at front end, along with Gary's brother Dale, traveled to Scotland for the Uniroyal World Junior Championship. They fell just short of a playoff sport, in an event eventually won by the Paul Gowsell rink from Canada. In 1977 Team Barcome returned as USA Champions, this time losing out in the semifinals. Don shared a finger gesture with the rowdy Quebec City fans during their game against Team Canada, but he still walked away with the award for sportsmanship. With the Mueller brothers graduated out of juniors, Don and Earl teamed with Bobby Stalker at second a…
Feb 21, 2017
Episode 17 - Ron Northcott
Ron Northcott was Alberta curling in the 1960s. From 1963 to 1969, Ron (AKA "The Owl") won the Alberta Tankard six times, five as a skip. He went on to win the Macdonald Brier in three of those appearances, ('66,'68 and '69) following each with a victory at the World Championship, including the first ever Air Canada Silver Broom in 1968. Those Brier championship rinks each had a different third (George Fink, Jimmy Shields and Dave Gerlach), but the dominant front end of lead Fred Storey and second Bernie Sparkes were there to set up every end and sweep every last rock. Ron will share his thoughts on some of those great final shots, along with his approach to strategy and early use of the corner guard. We'll discuss Pee Wee Pickering, Hec Gervais, Ray Kingsmith, Warren Hansen, and Sam Richardson, in likely the greatest Curling Legends example of gamesmanship... in an elevator. For more on Ron Northcott, check out "The Brier" by Bob Weeks, "Curling: The History, The Pl…
1 hr 36 min
Feb 13, 2017
Episode 16 - Dan Carey
Dan Carey didn't think he was too competitive. Growing up in Winnipeg, he could gauge his drive against older brother Bill, and everything seemed fine. After his hockey aspirations were thwarted by a broken arm, and having seen Bill win a Brier as third for Barry Fry, Dan decided that curling might be the path to feed his hunger for competition. Following a decade of near misses, Dan re-teamed with Vic Peters in 1991. Joined by long time playing partner Don Rudd at lead and Vic's teammate Chris Neufeld at second, the Peters Rink stumbled early in the season, but eventually won Manitoba and found themselves in the Labatt Brier final against Russ Howard of Ontario. Dan shares his thoughts on that game and the strange and unscrupulous happenings from one year later at the 1993 Brier. He'll explain why the Peters rink often felt labeled as a "black hat" team, and who appeared to wear the white hats. We'll do a deep dive on the 1997 Brier final against Kevin Martin. Played in…
1 hr 24 min
Feb 6, 2017
Episode 15 - Vera Pezer
Vera Pezer has always had a mind for curling. From her early days in Meskanaw, SK, tossing stones on a two sheeter at the age of 6, Vera developed a lifelong passion for the roaring game. In our conversation, we cover her development at the University of Saskatchewan where she honed her curling skills and her studies, eventually blending the two as part of her PhD in Sports Psychology. Vera won 4 Canadian Championships as Team Saskatchewan. First as third for Joyce McKee in 1969, then skipping Sheila Rowan, Joyce, and Lenore Morrison to three consecutive national victories from 1971 to 1973. Vera then stepped back from curling, but eventually found herself working with the CCA, providing a focus on the mental aspects of the game. After the 1992 Winter Olympics, career again pulled her away from the game, but her passions remained and she directed this energy into writing a book "The Stone Age: A Social History of Curling on the Prairies", published in 2003. She followed up…
Feb 2, 2017
Episode 14 - Matt Baldwin, Part 2
In Part 2 of my conversation with Matt Baldwin, we'll cover the 1958 Brier in Victoria, where Alberta landed in a playoff against a young Braunstein rink from Manitoba. Matt will share the disappointment of perhaps his best rink, when in 1960 he teamed with Hector Gervais, and didn't reach the Brier. You'll hear about Hector, Garnett Campbell, Ernie Richardson, and Matt's confrontation with Paul Gowsell in the finals of the Vernon Carspiel. Matt tells stories from the 1971 "Blizzard" Brier in Quebec City and explains how to throw a party at the Chateau Frontenac. And you'll find out why Matt is the original "Hot Shot" of one-on-one curling. Next Episode: Vera Pezer
Jan 30, 2017
Episode 13 - Matt Baldwin, Part 1
Matt Baldwin begins with a story about Gordie Howe's sister in small town Saskatchewan. From there we head to Saskatoon and then Edmonton, where he (eventually) graduates with a degree in a new program for petroleum engineering. Matt's curling begins during wartime, develops through university, and in the winter of 1954 he's able to convince a local rival to join forces in playdowns with hopes of reaching the first ever Edmonton Brier. At 27, Matt became the youngest Brier winning skip (a title now held by Kerry Burtnyk). He returned to the Brier in 1956, but the long train ride to Moncton, and frequent visits to the Beaver Club, may have hindered his chances. In Part 1, Matt shares thoughts on the early days, explains his famous long slide in the 1954 Brier and reveals tales from the 1956 and '57 Macdonald Briers. For more on Matt Baldwin check out: "The Brier" by Bob Weeks, "Curling: The History, The Players, The Game" by Warren Hansen, and "The Stone Age" by Ve…
1 hr 18 min
Jan 23, 2017
Episode 12 - Paul Gowsell
Paul Gowsell had irrational confidence from an early age. While other junior curlers were learning the game by challenging their peers, Gowsell was taking cash and cars from the best teams in the world. When Neil Houston and Glen Jackson graduated from Team Gowsell's junior ranks after their Uniroyal World Championship in 1976, they continued as part of Paul's bonspiel team, even while he and lead Kelly Stearne picked up John Ferguson and Doug McFarlane to win the '77 Canadian Juniors and '78 Worlds. These Gowsell rinks became infamous for their long hair, beards and crazy pants, but also for ushering in the hair broom era and initiating the rapid end to the corn broom. Paul shares stories from those junior championships and traveling in his van to cashspiels across Western Canada. You'll hear about the party at the Van Winkle hotel, the brushing controversy in Scotland, Revenue Canada's attempts to tax curling, dealing with the RCMP and tips on how to beat corn broom teams.…
1 hr 30 min
Jan 16, 2017
Episode 11 - Rod Hunter
Rod Hunter now resides in Viking, Alberta, made famous for a local family with six brothers who all played in the NHL. Rod, AKA "The Arrow", found his curling fame in Manitoba, where he qualified for the Brier 4 times from 1970 to 1975, winning twice as vice for Don Duguid. That same Duguid rink also captured back-to-back Air Canada Silver Broom World Championships in 1970 and '71, going undefeated in 17 straight games. Rod will share his experiences from those events, the near misses in other seasons, explain why he originally changed from a tuck slide to flat foot and reveal the origins of the Bauer curling shoe. You'll hear how that Duguid championship run nearly never happened, the reason they stopped at their peak, and how they reunited for the 100th MCA (World's Largest) Bonspiel in 1988. After our talk, the microphone kept running and we captured a few extra stories at the end of the show, including Rod's memories of Warren Hansen, Ken Watson, the Richardsons, the othe…
1 hr 48 min
Jan 9, 2017
Episode 10 - Mike Riley
Mike Riley had a passion for curling, but it never fully consumed him. Mike reached his greatest success when he found balance in pursuing business and travel along with his curling aspirations. As a high school curler, Mike remembers anticipating Christmas more for the Winnipeg Junior Bonspiel than the presents under the tree. As a young skip, he recalls testing his mettle against the legendary Don Duguid rink in the early 70s, and gaining confidence from the experience. Don's teammates Rod Hunter and Bryan Wood later recruited Mike to play third and were rewarded with a Purple Heart in 1975. After being dropped from the squad, Mike was back to skipping, trying to build his own winning team. In 1983, he found the magic ingredients with lead Russ Wookey, second John Helston and Brian Toews at third. The veteran rink quickly jelled into a Manitoba and Canadian Champion, using a rarely seen strategy of drawing around corner guards without last rock. The Riley Rink stunned fans and media…
Jan 2, 2017
Episode 9 - Ed Lukowich
Ed Lukowich has been there in Curling. "Fast" Eddy has been central to some of the greatest shifts in the history of the game. He learned to curl in Speers, Saskatchewan, back while the sliding rules were being shaped. Four decades later he won the Moncton 100, the no-hit bonspiel that ushered in the Free Guard Zone era. From the Richardsons to Kevin Martin, he's battled Legends from every living generation. In 1973, with a chance to join a young Paul Savage, Ed may have been one of the first players to move across country solely for a curling opportunity. You might be surprised to hear who Ed nearly replaced on that Ontario squad (rhymes with wrench). In 1978, Ed took advantage of new rules that allowed a Calgary player to team with his Medicine Hat rink, and with Mike Chernoff captured the Macdonald Brier in Vancouver. They also won the event with horsehair push brooms, a first, and with Mike calling the game while Eddy threw fourth stones, something not commonly seen…
1 hr 32 min
Dec 29, 2016
Episode 8 - Warren Hansen, Part 2
In Part 2 of my conversation with Warren Hansen, we'll dive deep into the Winter Olympics. Warren will share how curling came to be a demonstration sport in 1988 and the efforts involved to secure status as a full medal event in 1998. You might be surprised to hear how it was nearly dropped, because of a Canadian, and may have been saved by a Japanese billionaire. Warren will also address the controversy surrounding the Curling Trials for those Calgary Olympics and the clash with Ed Werenich. He'll return to the 1974 Silver Broom and explain how it shaped his future. Warren shares the challenges of putting a Brier in an NHL arena, creation of the Continental Cup and Mixed Doubles, the "Brier Boycott" era and his thoughts on the modern game. Next Episode: Ed Lukowich
1 hr 12 min
Dec 26, 2016
Episode 7 - Warren Hansen, Part 1
Warren Hansen loves curling. Growing up in Namao, Alberta, it was a passion rivaled only by football. Warren played and coached for several years with the Edmonton Huskies of the Canadian Junior Football league, but eventually curling took centre stage. It became more than just a seasonal endeavour as a player, it became a path for his life's purpose. From Brier winner with Hector Gervais, to coaching, event management, media relations and Olympic training and development, Warren has covered it all. Frustration with his experience at the 1974 World's along with a constant rejection of new ideas (such as pre-game practice, uniforms and officiating) drove him to help transform an eccentric winter pastime into an Olympic medal sport that could be respected and admired by a wider audience. In Part 1, Warren shares his thoughts on Hector Gervais and the circumstances that moved him from a player to a builder. He'll explain why, in the early days of teaching, flat foot w…
Dec 19, 2016
Episode 6 - Errol Klinck
Errol Klinck, better known as "Colonel", started curling in Regina with his father. His grandfather, Ozzie Barkwell, skipped the team representing Western Canada at the first Brier, held in Toronto in 1927. After moving to Winnipeg, Colonel landed a sparing role, filling in for Bryan Wood and helping the Duguid rink capture the Birks Trophy (Main Event) in the 1971 MCA Bonspiel. Errol would skip his own team to the same title in 1974, winning a berth into the provincial Tankard and the Calcutta at the Assiniboine Memorial. The Klinck rink of 1985 had been together a few years, mostly competing in the A Group mens league at the Assiniboine. After escaping club playdowns, and managing to win a city zone berth, they were heading to the provincial Tankard in Dauphin, seeded last out of 32 teams in the double-knockout event. Surprising everyone (including themselves), they began the Saturday night A-Side final as the only undefeated team, with just two wins remaining to capture four Purple…
1 hr 8 min
Dec 12, 2016
Episode 5 - Neil Houston
Neil Houston is now an Event Manager for Curling Canada. He has been instrumental in bringing the Brier to large NHL arenas and showcasing curling at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Over forty years ago, he teamed with second Glen Jackson, lead Kelly Stearne and skip Paul Gowsell to form perhaps the greatest junior team in history. The Gowsell squad stormed through the Canadian and World Juniors, while combating mens teams on the cashpiel circuit...and winning. To the older crew cut players of that era, the strange pants, long hair and beards were a small annoyance compared to their use of push brooms rather than corn. Neil shares stories of the Gowsell rink and helps separate legend from fact. He also talks about his time on the Lukowich rink and how "Fast" Eddy went from playing second to skipping them to a Brier, Worlds and Olympic medal. We'll hear about 1997 when the CCA gambled by putting a Brier in the Calgary Saddledome, and contemplate the death of the hair broom in competitive…
1 hr 9 min
Dec 5, 2016
Episode 4 - Ernie Richardson
Ernie Richardson still lives in Saskatchewan, a province he represented at the Brier 5 times. In 1959, Ernie and his family rink of brother Garnet "Sam" Richardson and cousins Arnold and Wes Richardson won their first Canadian Championship. They were swiftly flown overseas to compete as Team Canada in the first ever World Championship (originally known as the Scotch Cup) against Willie Young of Scotland. The Richardsons repeated as Brier champions in 1960 and '62. Wes departed due to back troubles in 1963, but with Mel Perry as his replacement, they captured a fourth Brier and Scotch Cup. In the 1964 Brier they fell 1 game short in the standings to winner Lyall Dagg from British Columbia. Ernie shares stories from his early days and the formation of the famous Richardson Rink, to their Brier triumphs and International experiences, including the startled reception to a blank end during the first Scotch Cup . We'll hear about Ernie meeting John Wayne, his battles with Hector Gervais and…
1 hr 11 min
Nov 27, 2016
Episode 3 - Art Lobel
Art Lobel was born near Virden, Manitoba, then started curling as a teenager in Winnipeg...except he wasn't very good. He was actually more skilled at target shooting. Eventually Art made his way to Quebec and his curling improved. Quite a bit in fact. Art qualified for the Canadian Mixed, then appeared in 5 Briers for Quebec, first with Bill Kent (originally from Virden) and later with Jim Ursel, who hailed from the same Winnipeg high school Art had attended. Along with their front end of Don Aitken and Brain Ross, they would win the Brier in 1977, held in the Velodrome in Montreal. Soon after, Art made his way to Ontario, where he would go on to appear in six Canadian Senior Championships, winning three. He tacked on a couple of Canadian Masters (60+) to boot, winning one of them. Art shares some of the early days of sliding rules, tales of curling in rural Quebec, the first push broom brought to a Brier, timing an "iron" rock and the discovery of "drag". You can r…
1 hr 18 min
Nov 20, 2016
Episode 2 - Terry Braunstein
Terry Braunstein has the unique distinction of a rule being named after him. Until recently (2015), the "Braunstein Rule" prohibited junior teams of high school ages from competing in mens and womens Tankard playdowns. Terry, along with brother Ron, Ray Turnbull and Jack Van Hellemond surprised the Manitoba and Canadian curling elite by qualifying for the Brier and then making it into a final game playoff against Matt Baldwin in 1958. In 1965 Terry would return with Ron, Ray and Don Duguid as vice and win the Brier but fall short in the World Championship (then known as the Scotch Cup). Terry shares stories of his early days throwing irregular sized stones on natural ice, to his Brier experiences and his thoughts on the modern game. For more information on Curling Legend Terry Braunstein, find a copy of Sean Grassie's "King of the Rings" , "The Stone Age" by Vera Pezer and "The Brier" by Bob Weeks. You can also catch highlights from the 1958 and 1965 Brier on YouT…
1 hr 21 min
Nov 14, 2016
Episode 1 - Pat Ryan
Pat Ryan grew up curling in Winnipeg, where he perfected his tuck slide delivery, but found his greatest success in Alberta. Following his heartbreaking loss to Al Hackner in the 1985 Brier, Pat would go on to build a team with Randy Ferbey, Don Walchuk and Don McKenzie. The "Ryan Express" won back-to-back Briers in 1988 and '89 with advanced hitting abilities that transformed the game and helped lead to the adoption of the free guard zone in the 1990s. After moving to British Columbia, Pat joined forces as third for Rick Folk. Along with Bert Gretzinger and Gerry Richard, they would reach back-to-back Brier finals, winning in 1994 over Ontario's Russ Howard. The 1994 Brier included a little known controversy with rock choices heading into the playoffs. Pat will share his version of that experience in Red Deer along with his thoughts on sweeping controversies going back to 1970s. For more information on Curling Legend Pat Ryan, locate a copy of Jean Sonmor's "Burned by the Rock" or "…
1 hr 22 min