Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 2 at the Grey Power

Day 2 at the Grey Power World Cup of Curling was another good one with what I would say are decent crowds. Again, I had to miss the evening draw (for my own curling game) but the afternoon draw was about 1/3 to ½ full.
Some thoughts from the day:

• I ran into Dean Gemmell and he gave me a copy of his new book, Fit To Curl, which he wrote with John Morris. I haven’t yet delved into the book in depth, but a glance through shows it to be thorough and interesting. Lots of great reading and a virtual bible for anyone considering competitive curling. I’ll have more once I’ve read through it.

• So, Brad Gushue, how’s your team playing? “Horrible.” That was his quote after he eked out a win in the afternoon draw yesterday. He says that his team didn’t have ice to practice on back home until last week so that’s hampered their tuning. Despite that, the Gushues have two wins already this year but the skipper chalked that up to just making the right shots at the right time.

• Spoke at length with Chinese coach Dan Rafael yesterday and asked him how the team could run out of time – in the seventh end, no less! – in the first draw in Wednesday night. He said the timekeeper came up to him and asked if he knew they were low on time and if he should warn the curlers. When Rafael asked how much time they had left, he was told two minutes. No point, he said. He hoped the boys learned a lesson. “It was the first time I think they’ve seen me visably upset.” He said the team can be a bit frustrating in that one game they’ll go out and beat Kevin Martin and the next look like knee-sliders from the Legion League.

• As one former world champion pointed out to me yesterday, this may be the easiest Grand Slam field in history. Hard to disagree.

• In my 21 years of covering curling for the Globe and Mail there was a first yesterday: three – count ‘em – three writers at a single curling event. Columnist Jeff Blair and writer Bev Smith joined me in the press box. The Olympics will do that.

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