2011 Continental Cup of #Curling: Day 4

Last day.

Good morning! Bernard vs. Wang in women's skins.

Wish I had that form coming out of the hack. Obviously Cheryl Bernard needs to give me some lessons.

Handshakes - Bernard wins!

I went in for the morning ladies skins game, and tweeted the scores for @CCACurling. It was easy because there was only one game on and skins scoring is far easier to figure out than those singles yesterday. So, for the first time since the mixed doubles game way back on Thursday, I actually 'watched' some curling. No running back and forth, no mad scrambling to figure out what crazy scores to post to Twitter. I actually got to concentrate and follow the game. Until the start of the seventh end when the laptop battery ran out! Bah! So it was back to the CCA IT office, and the end of my Canadian Curling Association tweeting gig. I really enjoyed it. A lot! I am so grateful they gave me an opportunity to mix three things I love: curling, curling volunteering, and Twitter. I hope I will get the opportunity to work with them at an event in the future - I think that would be a win-win situation!

I will get a chance to work with them in March anyways, though not in person, as I'm on the committee for the 2011 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships. I'll be running the online presence, so blogging, tweeting, live scoring, maybe photos/video, etc. The sky's the limit with that event, so I definitely need to start thinking about what I want to do, with the CCA's help and approval of course. It's definitely something to look forward too, and March will be here before we know it!

Back to the Cup. After lunch, I started my last refill/garbage shift. It was pretty quiet. There was 4+ hours between games, so many people had gone home, plus we were tightly controlling stock so there would be less to pack up in the end. I did a bunch of running around, even answering a few phone calls in the volunteer lounge and relaying the messages to the appropriate area.

It was at this point I got to do the coolest thing. I was walking backstage, on my way to the media lounge to check their snack supplies (so actually working). As I walked by the curtained entrance to the ice, I paused to see what was going on, thinking maybe I would ask if I could take a photo from the boards. A security volunteer saw me hesitate and offered to take my photo out on the ice! Yes please! So we walked out there onto the arena floor and he took my photo. Cool? Yeah, it got better.

On one of the sheets they weren't using today, an ice guy was teaching a venue employee how to curl. I watched for a minute, and then another ice lady said to me "Would you like to throw a couple rocks?"


She taped up my boot so it would slide, and they all warned me to throw it hard because the ice hadn't been pebbled since yesterday, so it was really sticky. My taped boot never slid very well, but I threw down the two rocks, hogging both. Nevermind that though, I threw two official rocks down official arena ice! It was sooooo cool!!! I was so fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. I'm even breaking my 'no-posting-pictures-of-me' rule:

Coolest thing ever! See that expression on my face? That excitement is genuine. It was thrilling! I took a few photos of the venue employee throwing rocks for her, chatted for a bit with the volunteers, then went back to checking snack supplies. Awesome and completely unbelievable! This has been the best curling volunteering experience ever!

After that, I was busy for awhile packing up and moving stock between lounges. Our supervisor said we could watch the game once we did a, b, and c - so we picked up the pace double time! Just before the mens skins game started, my partners (two today, great ladies who I'd gotten to know a bit over the four days) and I were stocking the big cooler in the backstage area, when a ton of curlers came out to get snacks and drinks (Gatorade and chocolate milk being the most popular just in case you were curious). The three of us totally got stuck in a corner with our crates and big trolley thing, there was no way we could get past the mass of curlers without being rude. So we just stood there and enjoyed the view. Not lying, it was a fun five minutes.

We managed to complete a, b, and c by the end of the first end, so the ladies and I took a seat for the Martin/Ulsrud last draw of the event. @neilp316 joined us later to watch the end of the game - and it was a gooder! I was cheering for Team World, because I figured they needed to win a big game after losing the whole event to Team North America yesterday (check out the points total in the photo above, teams only needed 201 to win). Plus, I really like Team Ulsrud. The even wore their fancy pants for their introduction, though had to go back to curling in black. Kevin Martin and co. were making the shots though, and they pulled out a win in the end. It was really close, with lots of carry overs, so it was exciting and tense and good curling fun! I'm really glad I got to watch the game, and with such nice company as well.

Men's skins game for pride and money! Martin vs. Ulsrud.

Looks like Thomas Ulsrud could give me a few curling lessons too. Please?!

Fourth end break.

Last shot - Martin wins the game!

There was a short closing ceremony afterwards, with a full pipe band, the raising of the cup, handing out of medals, and dignitary speeches. Following that there was a team photo call on the ice. And that's it. It was all over.

Who doesn't love a pipe band?

Team North America.


Even though I'm pretty exhausted, I'm sad it's over, and could've gone a few more days. I had just gotten to know/recognize a bunch of volunteers, so it was fun working with them, and talking to them around the venue. We had some really great conversations about getting younger people into curling/curling volunteering, as well as how to encourage beginner curlers to join more experienced teams to improve the depth of talent. Fascinating. I've met so many wonderful people over the past four days. I can't wait until the next event I volunteer for - being part of that team is truly a unique and satisfying experience.

I'm going to post more photos and a wrap up tomorrow. For now, I'll be going to sleep a super happy curling fan.