Twas another fantastic day at the Roar of the Rings Olympic Curling Trials.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Rexall was that there were tons more people milling around.
Must be semi and final day!
Must be semi and final day!
The second thing I did was grab a Morning Roar newspaper and check if my picture made it in, as per yesterday's surprise photo op. And yep, there I was! There were 5 pictures of happy volunteers along with a blurb about how fantastic we are, and my smiling face was right on top (it was a nice picture too, not my squinty look). I suppose I'm a good role model for young people in the sport. A lot of the curlers are young, but the crowd is probably 60% lovely retired folk, 30% middle aged people, 9% people my age or teenagers, and 1% kids. I've heard more than one person complain this week about how young people are not being attracted into the sport anymore. I've heard that with the Rocks and Ring program the kids are catching on, but one the middle aged and retired folk are finished, there's not a lot of 20-40 year olds ready to take over club curling. Opinions differ, but I was certainly the youngest volunteer as far as I could tell (and I'm older than I look). Come on people, start curling!!
The third thing I did was meet my Fort Mac friend in line for the team Martin autograph session. And the fourth thing I did was inhale yet another chocolate cake brownie square from M&M Meat Shop.
Martin, Morris, Hebert, Kennedy and Owchar (l-r) signing for a much longer line than on Wednesday.
First up was the mens semis, Stoughton vs Howard. Though I'm a Stoughton fan too, I was cheering for Howard, and he pulled through with a win. It was a good game. I was fortunate enough to continue my row 13 marathon, so the view was fantastic. I highly recommend sitting on the home end where you get to see the 10th end.
Whoa boys, says Stoughton (white)
Another gooder from the Howard crew (red)
It was also a great game for famous people sightings. Luke Coley, Amber Holland and Steve Howard (Russ' son, and the curler whose name I couldn't remember yesterday) were sitting in the row in front of us. Jennifer Jones popped up near us for a bit. And the announcer found Don Walchuk, Kathy King and Marcel Rocque and got them to all do Russ Howard impressions, which Russ found quite funny - even giving them a standing-o.
Jennifer Jones (white)
And luck of all luck, the curler who I gushed about in yesterday's post sat two rows in front of us for a bit. *sigh* He wears posh sunglasses though so I reckon he's outta my league. I watched the back of his head for a couple ends, and my day was elevated to the awesomeness that was yesterday. *sigh*
Nolan Thiessen (*sigh*) sitting with mom (?) and grandma (?)
So after a fantastic morning we headed to the Patch (along with thousands of other people) for dinner. I spotted Guy Hemmings right away, again, and Steve Howard again. I really wish I was a partyer, as I know if I would've stuck around the Patch after the evening draws I coulda spotted more curlers, maybe even talked to them. But partying is really not my style. I'm sure everyone else is having fun though.
Russ Howard and Bryan Mudryk doing a spot for TSN as Bernard slides out during womens practice.
The evening game was the womens final - Bernard vs. Kleibrink. There were rowdy Kleibrink fans, and there were rowdy Bernard fans, both in adjacent sections. I'm not sure if it was because I had a Kleibrink clapper or what, but I was cheering for her, though I didn't mind who won either way.
Top left = Kleibrink Go crew, Middle with stripey scarves = Bernard troop
Good crowd for Kleibrink (green) vs Bernard (black)
We also spotted Blake MacDonald sitting in the section over, and a couple Gunnlaugson boys about ten rows in front. It was actually not really a good game, kind of boring, with lots of missed shots. But Bernard won, and I got to see my first ever medal ceremony. After they stepped on the podium, the Bernard gang got to exchange their jackets for Olympic sweaters! And then Gord Bamford (who is my cousin-in-laws cousin?) sang the national anthem and Cheryl Bernard was all chocked up and crying and it was super touching. Aw. I'll be cheering for the girls in Vancouver for sure!!
Fancy red Olympic sweaters!
That's it from the Roar for tonight. Tomorrow is the mens final, and even if I don't get to sit in row lucky number 13, and regardless of who I can spot in the crowd, it'll be a gooder!!