As we reflect upon this year’s nationals in Thunder bay be begin to understand how much our game as grown. Unlike the past this year showed that we truly are no long a first steps game; we have taking massive steps forward in having our game become seamless to that of the Able-bodied game.
Games play by provincial teams regardless of was the team finished was second to none. A couple of notable shots that stand out for me (there are a ton more) are two. The first one is a triple take out by Quebec’s Carl Marquis. An incredible shot which would bring a tear to the ear of even Glen Howard himself. The other which was the most dramatic of the whole week was the PERFECT draw though a tight port by skip, Darwin Bender of Saskatchewan. With his last shot and what seemed to be a sure victory for Alberta Darwin draws not to the four foot but to the button to force the extra end and ultimately win the title of champions for the Saskatchewan crew.
These game was only a vision some 10 years ago when 5 wheelchair athletes got together and gave it a go. We had a few nice moments and won a few bonspiels but the caliber of play shown at these nationals is no less than equal to that of the Brier and Scotties and if you take into account the fact these players do not have sweeping .....Well we surpass. Remember folks "sweeping is an admission of imperfection".
Also, in the next week or so we will be posting a huge amount of photos from nationals. Some 3000 photos taken by Snap Shot MD. We also have a number of videos and full games from the event which we will be posting or will make available for those with interest. Just drop us an email.
The other aspect to this event is that of choice; a choice by the athletes regarding not only an ALL-STAR team but that of a sportsmanship award. Athletes vote for an athlete that best represents these spots and for me understanding these are some of the best selections ever made leaves great satisfaction of a job well done by all.
Congratulations Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario but all so to all other. Your play was inspiring and often left many in AH! Pat yourself on the back and then hold on because next year is not that far off and if this year shows us anything about what can be done, I cannot wait until next year.
|Sportsmanship Award – Joanne McDonald –NL|
|All Star Skip– Bruno Yizek – AB|
All Start Third– Mark Wherrett – MAN
All Start Second– Tony Reynen – ON
|All Star Lead– Anne Hibberd – AB|
Finally; before I close this year’s chapter on the nationals we wanted to do something that no one else has ever done before. The tried to provide coverage at the next level and we hope we accomplished that. I again thank Trevor Kerr for his countless and many sleepless night in helping me provide that coverage and I thank the CCA for sponsoring us and believing in us.
So, the only question remains is what was it like? What is it like to play against the champions?
We have provided a short video which immerses you right into the action. Tony Reynen from Team Ontario was grateful enough to provide us with this unprecedented footage of his game against Saskatchewan.
Check it out and we hope you will continue to support us in our efforts to tell your story, this story of wheelchair curling.