Family story a finalist for “Curling Day in Canada” contest

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The story and photo below was submitted to the Curl Canada “Curling Day in Canada” story contest and been selected from 150 stories as one of the top 12 stories that have now advanced to the voting round of the contest.

The story with the most votes received by February 28 will win a trip for four to the 2022 Brier Finals in Lethbridge, Alberta.

To vote for your favourite story (hopefully the Knight/Baltazar submission) go to <curlingdayincanada.ca> and scroll down to the “Vote for your favourite story” tab.

Lifetime curling highlight – my three generations team

by Chris Knight

I have been a “curler” for the last 48 years – this includes participating in many bonspiels and competitions, attending 23 full Briers and four Olympic Trials as a fan and being a volunteer ice maker at an Olympic Trials, a Tim Hortons Brier and a Grand Slam.

However, the curling highlight of a lifetime of being a curler came to me last January 2020 when I participated in a bonspiel with my “three generations” team that included my 14-year-old granddaughter Kirsten at third, my eldest daughter Stephanie at second, and my 10-year-old granddaughter Callie at lead.

I have been attending the Mattawa Open Bonspiel (a small town 60 miles north of my home town) almost every year since 1973 – normally with a men’s team.

During that span I have been on bonspiel winning teams three or four times, had many fun weekends at this annual bonspiel, and have grown to become close friends with many of that clubs members over the years.

Normally our club sends three or four teams up north every year to play in the Mattawa Open and they reciprocate by sending three or four teams down south to our club in Deep River.

About 10 years ago one of the Mattawa stalwarts helped fill up our spiel by bringing his three grandsons as a team. I always told him that I aspired to do something similar in the future!

So in January 2020, just before COVID hit, I entered my three generation family team in the spiel.

We had a fantastic time playing and winning all three of our games, staying in a local hotel where we played games and had snacks until late at night, and enjoying the food and musical hospitality of the Mattawa club.

The picture above shows my smiling team after winning our third game against a team of men in their 20s from the host club.

A memorable moment from that game was when one of the opponents asked “How old is your lead?”

“Ten,” I replied.

He turned to his teammate who was playing lead and teased, “Buddy you are being out-curled by a 10-year-old.”

Needless to say we all had a good laugh and they took it well.

To me this whole experience was a perfect demonstration of what a great game curling is both as a sport and as a social activity – what other sport could you expect to do something like this?

Unfortunately COVID has not allowed us to return to that bonspiel this year but the memories and this photo of my smiling team help to keep this grandpa warm and happy on a cold winters night!

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