The Continental Cup of Curling held it's Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday night. I was supposed to have a volunteer shift, so never bothered to get a ticket for the Volunteer Appreciation dinner since I would miss it anyways. Then my shift got cancelled, but I couldn't go to the dinner because I didn't have a ticket! Oh well, I decided to go to the Opening Ceremonies anyways - it was free and open to the public. The crowd was decent and it was kinda fun. Click to enlarge the photos.
As per tradition, the pipers opened the whole event.
Dignitaries, and the Mounties walked in with the actual Continental Cup, reminding me of that night I got my picture with it. Too bad I don't post pictures of myself on my blog.
Next was Team World: Captain Pal Trulsen, Coach Peja Lindholm, Team Wang of China and Team Germany (including Lang, who is playing with Murdoch).
Very popular - Team Ulsrud from Norway! (Minus the famous pants, which caused some controversy but it's not about them it's about the bigger Team World, so it's all in good fun.)
Team One Person (aka Scotland): David Murdoch. He'll be playing with Germany's Lang and Switzerland's Stockli and Sturbin.
Team Sweden, Eden forgot his coat or something, so had to borrow Lindberg's.
Team Ott from Switzerland, including the guys playing with Murdoch.
Team North America: Captain Neil Harrison and Coach Rick Lang
Team USA: Brown and Fenson.
Team Canada: Bernard, Jones, Koe and Martin - some of the best in the country
Following the athletes entrance, there were a bunch of speeches by the important people. Then, all the anthems were played. I thought this part was neat, listening to all the anthems. I think Murdoch was a bit embarrassed because he was the only one for team Scotland and everyone was looking at him. He turned quite red and even tried to get Norway to sing along. It was cute. And I also loved how people sang the Canadian national anthem - it sounded lovely.
Next up was a short skit to highlight the play "The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon" which is playing in St. Albert during the event. I'd love to see it, but of course I'm a bit busy this week, so I'll have to finally read the book instead (it's written by W.O. Mitchell so it's a classic). The story: Wullie wants to play in a bonspiel, so he agrees to play the Devil, giving up his soul if he loses, or something.
Finally, Wullie's 'team' came out to throw out the ceremonial rocks. His team was Scott Pfeifer, Jackie Rae Greening and Stan Gervais. In the book, the Devil's team is Macbeth, Judas Iscariot and Guy Fawkes - but I reckon these three might have closer draws to the button.
And that's it. Most of the people (and the curlers) headed downstairs to The Patch to party. I guess hanging out in The Patch would be my best chance to meet the curlers, but meh, it's not really my thing, and I have all night shifts anyways. I did see a whole bunch of the curlers on their way there, so I reckon a good time was had by all.