"But in my opinion, there is no more truly Canadian sport than curling."
Day 1 post Roar of the Rings.
I have to go to work. That is so not as much fun as hanging out and watching curling all day.
I had an amazing week. Though I spent the first few days watching the draws on TSN and going about my real life, I did spend five full days at the event. I thought as a form of closure, I would post a wrap up summary of my favourite parts of the Roar.
My Roar Top 5
Randomly, standing in the autograph line on the first day I went to Rexall, I met a new friend. My Fort Mac friend is awesome because she 'gets' and 'shares' my curling obsession like no one else I know. We watched the games, but also spotted famous curlers in the crowd, and supported each other's curling crushes. I got to sit in my awesome row 13 seat in that empty seat beside hers the whole event, and it was super nice to have company during dinner breaks and on train rides. She lives far away, but I have a feeling I'll be seeing her again at an event or otherwise. I'm so glad I met her! - curling fans are awesome!!
Ok, so the curling was amazing. Though watching four games at once can be distracting, I do love following a couple games, and being able to see match ups that aren't on tv. The calibre of curling at the Roar was probably the best in the world, and it was a once in a life time opportunity to watch the best athletes in both mens and womens games in a big arena.
And I have to say, there is nothing better in the whole world than watching curling live in such an amazing setting, and listening to the TSN commentary on the radio I had tucked into my coat pocket at the same time. Seriously. Utopia.
"I delight in the sheer nerdiness of curling. It's so unhip, so utterly unselfconscious, that it actually has a kind of reverse cool, a unique meta-chic."
I was always excited about being a volunteer. I've always wanted a logo jacket, and I like being part of special events and going behind the scenes. And yes, being a volunteer was awesome. I love my shirt and jacket, I got a cool volunteer badge full of autographs, and felt proud to be part of the event. My smiling face even made it into Saturday's Morning Roar newspaper!
I also got lots of cool free stuff (volunteer and otherwise) like a Roar shopping bag, Olympic Canada flag, water bottle, earband, calendar, pins, doughnuts, pop, cheering clapper, and two squishy plushish curling rocks. Oh, and like a dozen pieces of M&M Meat Shop chocolate buttercream brownie cake. I'm a sucker for free stuff.
The best part of all of this was talking to people. I'm pretty good at talking to strangers, and I loved talking to customers in the store, other volunteers, people sitting around me in the stands, random people on the concourse - hey, I'll talk to anyone!! I never really had any grandparents, so I especially love talking to lovely retired folks, and curling events are full of them!
"I love the fact that curling isn't just a young person's game, that it's a game of skill, where canniness and experience count."
I'm not much of a fangirl (although, see #5), nor am I an autograph or photo hound, but it was super awesome meeting some of the curlers and getting their autographs. All the guys were so nice! Having some autographs (see below) on my volunteer badge made for interesting conversation with other volunteers, family, and other fans. It was also fun spotting curlers in the crowd. It became a bit of a hobby for us over the course of the event, and really added to the one of a kind fun of being at the event in person.
Top row: Wayne Middaugh, Mark Kennedy, Rob Fowler, Kevin Koe, Carter Rycroft
Middle row: Ben Hebert, John Mead, Blake McDonald, Steve Gould, Kevin Park, John Eppin, John Morris, Trevor Wall
Bottom row: Jeff Stoughton, Nolan Thiessen, Kevin Martin, Scott Bailey, Jules Owchar
"Yet curlers always seem to me like people who are comfortable in their own skins, people who know who they are, who can keep their balance on the ice, and in the real world"
Yeah. So maybe I am a fangirl. Ok, so I have a curling crush. Who doesn't? Koe's lead just happens to be my man of the moment. And we brushed arms. And then he sat two rows in front of us. It was awesome. I'm going to tell this story forever.
Want to relive my adventures?
My Volunteer Schedule (which changed, I only had 2 shifts)
It's Roar Time (my picks - all wrong)
I took about 200 pictures. If you'd like to take a look, I'll keep a Roar album up on Photobucket until the end of the month. I'm not much a photographer, but feel free to download whatever you want.
So what next? Of course the Scotties, Provincials, Olympics and Brier plus other events are on tv coming up in the next few months. What about more Edmonton events though? St. Albert is getting the Continental Cup in January 2011, and I've heard rumours of a 2013 Edmonton Brier.
I'll be finished my masters in April 2010, and though I might risk long term unemployment in my field, I really really really want to stay in Edmonton. So, it's almost guaranteed I'll be volunteering for those up coming events. I foresee a long long long career of curling volunteering (and playing) in my future...
"And I love the fact that curling isn't just a spectator sport, the preserve of professional athletes. It's still a participation sport with deep grassroots, something just about everyone can play, a game as democratic and inclusive as Canada aspires to be."
Good bye Roar of the Rings. I'll miss you, but I'm excited about what's to come!
(Quotes are from a fantastic Edmonton Journal article by Paula Simons called Just a stones throw from perfection)