Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lainger loves curling

First up today, a note about yesterday’s blog, over which I had a few comments. Brent Laing may have said he doesn’t like to watch curling, but in reality he loves it, in fact he adores it.

I hope the only people who actually thought he wasn’t enjoying himself in Sochi were the handful who emailed me yesterday. I may have led people to think he hates watching the Olympic curling through my blog yesterday, which simply isn’t true.

The two-time world champ was just joking to the Sun’s Ted Wyman on what every spouse, partner, parent or sibling goes through at a major championship – that feeling of helplessness as you watch the drama unfold.

As a player, he’s used to being able to control his destiny but as a spectator he and all the rest of the group supporting both Canadian rinks, have to watch and offer support.

The best Lainger can do is hope the lucky earrings he gave to Jones are still working – and so far they have as the Canadian rink put up another win today, this time knocking off Eve Muirhead and her GB team.

Rest assured folks, there’s nowhere that Brent or Mike McEwen would rather be than in those stand cheering for their significant others. Sure, it’s an edge-of-the-seat, chomp-on-the-fingernails thing for them but that’s what makes it so great.

(Also, being the alternate is not easy either as Kirsten Wall relates in this recap of today's game).

And I’m sure the curlers wouldn’t have it any other way. Knowing there’s someone there for you before, during and after the games is a great feeling. Knowing there’s someone there who can truly empathize with the feelings experienced on ice as these two can is even better, I’m sure.

After the 2006 Games, I helped Russ Howard write his book and one of the parts that stood out for me was just how tough it was for the families of the athletes.

I’m not sure if it was any different for the current teams, but Howard had about eight hours after the final rock of the Trials stopped to decide if he was going to bring his wife and kids to Torino. They had to know right away, yes or no. It wasn’t cheap either – I believe it was in the neighbourhood of about $25,000 for the Howards when all was said and done. Of course it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for sure.

There’s the flight, accommodation, meals and even tickets to the game. No one rides for free at the Olympics.

So Laing’s comments were made in jest; my blog was tongue in cheek. He and McEwen and all the families are right behind the players.


Keeping with that family theme Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press brought Jones close to tears after a game on Tuesday when told how her mother choked up talking about her daughter at the Olympics. It's a nice story and well worth the read. 

"Oh, you're going to make me cry, too," she said. "It's so great to have our parents here. They're such a big part of this."

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