I was in on the conference call yesterday with Kevin Martin to help promote The National, the Grand Slam event which begins this week in Guelph, Ont.
It actually didn’t sound as if there were too many media on the call. There was Bill Graveland from the Canadian Press, Mario Annicchiarico from Canwest (Hey Mario. . . Martin might have been talking about adding a Team Canada to the Brier but eliminating Northern Ontario is not the only way to do that, as you suggested), Jim "Hollywood" Henderson of Sweep!-d and a handful of local reporters. At least those were the only ones that asked questions. I thought with the Olympics closing in there would be more demand but apparently not.
A few revelations: Martin didn’t throw a rock from the time he won the Trials until three days ago, saying the break was a welcome one.
"I took the time off right to New Year's after the trials and you don't really realize how tired you are until you take a break. You're kind of running on fumes and don't really know it and, once I got off the ice for a few days, I could tell how extremely tired I was."
In the interim, Martin has been filling his time by preparing for the Olympics, off-ice. Paperwork, details, medical stuff all have filled up the days. Such things as trying to arrange for lodging and tickets for his family – wife, kids, parents and in-laws – is a job in itself. You probably don’t think of those things or what you can and can’t put into your body or when you’re going to get your uniforms or when you’re going to check in to the Athletes Village when you walk off the ice after winning the Trials but it all takes time and phone calls and financial arrangements. There have been a couple of appearances too, such as the team taking in an Oiler game in full regalia (talk about hard work, the Oil hasn’t exactly been burning it up lately).
Martin hasn’t had any of the crazy international interviews where the folks asking the questions don’t know a thing about curling, but he expects they’ll start now that the new year has arrived.
A heads up Kevin: Bryant Gumble’s Real Sports, which airs on HBO, is heading to Guelph and bringing some weird questions with them.
The team will play in Guelph, the Skins, the Winnipeg Slam and also take a trip out to Vancouver to familiarize themselves with the surroundings they’ll be in for the better part of two and a half weeks.
He also praised the Slams as providing some quality competition before the Olympics, especially against some of the international teams he’ll face in Vancouver.
Tempus fugit for Team Martin but it seems quite prepared to handle the run-up to the Games.