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Monday, March 19, 2012

Getting Ready!

By Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
Delays at Toronto’s airport forced the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship organization committee to find an alternate national anthem singer.

Practice for the upcoming tournament started at the Fort William Curling Club on Sunday. All registered teams were able to make in into Thunder Bay without any delays, but the trouble at Pearson International Airport did cost the tournament its original O Canada singer.

Host committee chair and Coach for the Thunder Bay curling team Dave Kawahara said they were forced to look for another singer.

“This morning we had our O Canada singer at the opening ceremonies tomorrow not coming in,” Kawahara said. “I had to look around for another singer. There were also some potential delays (Saturday) for the teams coming in from the East due to the Air Canada situation.”

But the singer wasn’t the only change.

Kawahara said the Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick teams weren’t able to make it to the competition because they weren’t able to get a team ready in time.

It’s the first time that Thunder Bay has hosted the event. The Fort William Curling Club installed an elevator in 2009 to allow wheelchair users a chance to hit the ice. Kawahara said it’s an honour to be able to host this kind of tournament.

“We’re very delighted that this is happening,” he said.

Kawahara added the big team to beat is Manitoba after they won the bonspiel last year.

Thunder Bay Skip Carl Levesque hasn’t had a chance to represent the city since 2008 and he said he was eager to show what he could do. He said the first couple of games will be just a way for him and the other teams to size each other up and see what the ice is like.

He said it should be a good tournament.

“We practiced and played in the men’s league and that gave us pretty much everything we need,” Levesque said. “A win would be a great deal. We’re going to have go slow, maybe be a little aggressive at first and we got to read the ice.”

Newfoundland and Labrador Skip Joanne MacDonald wouldn’t reveal her strategy for the upcoming tournament but she said she and her team have worked hard and were ready to hit the ice.

“We were practicing in October and throughout the season so we look forward to the competition,” MacDonald said. “

The opening ceremonies start at 2 p.m. on Monday.

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