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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jacqueline Kapinowski vs Armstrong - welcome back to the debate


Ok to stave off any major email chains regarding an article today I will not be re-posting the article which came out on NJ.com
Jacqueline Kapinowski
In the article, which you can read here: Jacqueline Kapinowski former member of the USA wheelchair curling squad gives her thoughts and insights into the Jim Armstrong situation.

I am posting the article so you the readers have the opportunity to read it. The opinions expressed in the article are not necessarily that of the Wheelchair curling blog 2, its partners or any of its staff.

We are just providing the article, so please limit your "wonderful" email responses and if you care to share a comment please, please add a name!


Anonymous said...

So is she saying he took PED's to enhance his performance?

How dumb is she?

Anonymous said...

"He's got a bad knee"....

How dumb is she?

Bruce Cameron said...

Have the two commentors met Jacqui? If not how can they make such negative comments about her. I have met Jacqui and she is an intelligent person. People who speak the truth are not dumb.

Anonymous said...

Jacqui hit the nail right on the head with this interview.

Unlike all of those Jim Armstrong disciples out there, she is a smart woman and not easily fooled.

How can we expect the world to take wheelchair curling seriously when we allow this kind of thing to go on. No other able-bodied sport anywhere in the civilized world would allow this to continue to happen.

If you want to be treated like we are the "Special Olympics," then keep this kind of thing up and you too can be an inspiration to others because that is about how much credibility we will get.

All we can do is hope that the WCF will see through this attempt to mask steroid usage and uphold their descision to ban Jim Armstrong once and for all. Then we can finally put this long and continuing ordeal behind us and let time repair the damage.

Anonymous said...

You cannot be serious.....masking steroid use?

A 60 year old male using steroids for curling?

That is absolutely hilarious.

Read the decision. Even the panel agreed there was no intent oto benefit.

Anonymous said...

IS the above blogger for real?

There was no steroid use. The Panel agreed there was an "absence of intent to enhance his sport performance".

Further, what good would steroids be?

Put your knives back in your holsters.

Anonymous said...

Wow here we go again! lol But instead of beating the 'preverbial dead horse', maybe we should be more concerned about how the rest of the world sees us. We have been trying so hard to create postive publicity for Wheelchair Curling and to be taken seriously as athletes and now we suffer a setback. It doesn't matter if we are friends or foes of Jims, anyone who doesn't know him sees an athlete who is found guilty and charged. Rules are rules. So where do we go from here? How do we get others, beyond our little curling world, (like sponsors for instance, and media),to take us seriously???? We should be thinking about the future not the past!

Anonymous said...

What if Jim was using a steroid to help facilitate some other benefit in his daily life. We all know how much he loves being in a wheelchair and tries at every opportunity to stay out of it as much as possible. Maybe their was no intent to enhance performance, although anyone who has played curling from a wheelchair knows precisely the difference from a para to an ab even in a wheelchair.Balance, power, line of direction are all benefited from as low an injury as possible and someone who can walk, even with an artificial limb, benefits greatly. Dennis from Manitoba is a perfect example of someone who gets an unbelievable amount of power from the pulling of his lower body while pushing with the upper body. Lance Armstrong took a type of steroid to battle cancer cells and because it was covered off in a TUE for him, he was able to legally cheat while others could not. That is why they have TUE's,(Therapeutic Use Exemptions). Maybe Jim should just apply for a TUE for his ability to walk, than all could be laid to rest.......What happens if the sport goes to classification, then Jim would be automatically skip forever, along with who knows elsewhere around the world. This is such a complex issue with more twist and turns than a stone delivered with no rotation, something I was shocked to see still a big issue with a lot of the teams/curlers at nationals this year. This is a technical sport with a power benefit and strong tactical component. I have watched Jim for years and he is an average curler, but a superior strategy wizard who calls the right shots for his team. They are not a team that is way out in front technically, they just make the simple shots more often because they are called more often., The Chinese are technically superior to most countries and once they get their heads wrapped around strategy, good for them. Lots of things going on in the world of WC curling right now and any athlete involved should embrace the opportunity to direct and form the sport. To do that they need to spend less time attacking others and focus on themselves. Canada is full of potential National Team members and if Jim's ban is upheld (18 months) than that is how much time you all have to prove he is not the choice, you are.

Anonymous said...

The last poster makes a lot of good potential points.

Why has Jim been so successful, yet the rest of the Team is average with out him?

He is NOT the best thrower in the World, but he has worked hard to catch up with a lot of us who have been playing much longer.

So why does he win? Obviously ice reading and strategy has to be the answer. But, come on, people, you have all followed the development of an end, and you and I would both be calling ALMOST the same shots, no matter who was skipping.

I actually believe it is the SUBTLE aspects that make the difference. I listened to Jim in Richmond last September, and some of the subtle stuff he indicated absolutely blew me away.

He says he NEVER calls any shot without a reason (turn, weight, etc), and I really believe therein lies the difference. It is an accumulation of so many subtle things that now make the difference.

Even poor Sonja and Daryl, who have been around him for three seasons have not absorbed it all well enough to apply it in a game situation.

Interestingly, if you talk to Jim, he will quickly tell you that success is about "simplifying" the game, not complicating it.

It would be interesting if our top skips as well as provincial coaches (with ab experience) could utilize a weekend brainstorm with him, and reset the bridge from ab to wc curling....

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the above blogger. However, I think the only real difference is ice reading, and understanding the changes as the game progresses.

Jim does have the ability to allow himself a way out of a problem.

It is interesting to note that he always implies every shot is called for a specific reason, and it would be interesting to have him go through a filmed game with comments.sTRUCA

Anonymous said...

DO you really think he calls every shot with a specific reason?

I do agree that he has in the past couple of years figured out the similarities and the differences of ab and wc curling.





Anonymous said...

Chris will NOT be coming back with the present Team Canada staff making the decisions.

Chris, right or wrong, burned those bridges, and they will not take a chance on him when there are viable alternatives.

The question becomes who will be the viable alternatives? Darryl is too old, as is Bruno.

So who are the most likely candidates?

Anonymous said...

You know what, I am going to give Chris some major credit here.

You have a guy who keeps trying to give to the sport. He does not get along with Team Canada staff, so what. Most who have been onvolved with them don't.

He spoke out for all of us and got pushed out. Very few really know why he is on the outside and hey folks it was for all of you.

I hope that someone does talk to him because he could make a difference and the STAFF should not be in that much control.

Look were that has got all of us. Chris has the guts to speak out but keeps trying to be involved.

I spoke with him and he is not the same guy. He is willing to give his shirt off his back and hey even put up the shitty comments on HIS blog.

He could not post your "shit on Chris" comments but he does, he controls what comments get put up, so ask your self why we would?

I think th eguy should be given a shot and the coach (Joe) be kicked out and someone new be put in. Maybe then Team Canada would actually have a coach that COACHED and stopped taking credit for the work of so may other and getting those awards from the back of some many others like: Wendy, Jim and even Chris

I think we should look past the past but some water under the bridge and look at Chris. If he fails on his own then so be it but don't let a difference of opinion stop him from having at least a fair chance

Anonymous said...

I agree with the blogger above. Chris is knowledgable, works his ass off to keep gettign better as a coach and a player even when he knows he has no TC chance.

I know for a fact that other countries have worked with him and advanced from his work with him - ask Korea!

Listened to Chris during natioanls and he was humble and when games where going on 9 out of 10 times either made the right call or made a better call.

As a coach I don't see where a difference of opinion between a coach and a player should have such a huge impact on a player.

You talk about unfair - what chance does he have? Unlike AB curling he has no chance of getting a new coach and winning his way to Team Canada again. Crap deal for him and the CCA nor the STAFF should have that much control to totally and fully affect a person/player FROM EVEN BEING ABLE TO PARTICIPATE.

How unfair is that!

Chris keep working and giving back to the sport, your efforts are not going unnoticed by the general population - only the close minded power mongers

Anonymous said...

You know what, I am going to give Chris some major credit here.

You have a guy who keeps trying to give to the sport. He does not get along with Team Canada staff, so what. Most who have been involved with them don't.

He spoke out for all of us and got pushed out. Very few really know why he is on the outside and hey folks it was for all of you.

I hope that someone does talk to him because he could make a difference and the STAFF should not be in that much control.

Looks were that has got all of us. Chris has the guts to speak out but keeps trying to be involved.

I spoke with him and he is not the same guy. He is willing to give his shirt off his back and hey even put up the shitty comments on HIS blog.

He could not post your "shit on Chris" comments but he does, he controls what comments get put up, so ask yourself why we would?

I think the guy should be given a shot and the coach (Joe) be kicked out and someone new be put in. Maybe then Team Canada would actually have a coach that COACHED and stopped taking credit for the work of so many others and getting those awards from the back of some many others like: Wendy, Jim and even Chris

I think we should look past the past but some water under the bridge and look at Chris. If he fails on his own then so be it but don't let a difference of opinion stop him from having at least a fair chance

Anonymous said...

The above blogger is on the money.

Joe has been enjoying all kinds of platitudes for coaching for years, yet what has he won since 2006 (with Chris), without Jim at the helm?

No Chris or Jim...no win.

Add Chris and Jim...who knows where it would go?

If Jim's appeal falls flat, and he is out for a season, have him tutor Chris away from the nuances of Joe and Team Canada, and there may be an interesting line-up going into Sochi.

Unfortunately, the result this year has shown that we don't have the depth we would like to think we have, and given that, the time to initiate changes is now. How about Darwin Bender enjoying some one-on-one with Jim? He has earned a shot, and Jim may well have the time to spend on development.

Set up a secondary, "development" team that can prepare more domestically, and let Jim "coach" formally, rather than under Joe.

Anonymous said...

Suggesting a "domestic" team has merit.

Team Canada has actually been trying out other people in a second team....give Jim the right to choose a "domestic team", and see where it goes.

Wheelchair Blog 2 said...

Ok so I am going to publish a comment on here but am going to moderate it a fair bit:

POSTER:Are you guys serious? Chris D. on team Canada. Have you seen him lately?

WCB2: Yes, I see me everyday! Thank you!

POSTER: He is so out of shape and over weight. He needs to lose some serious weight.

WCB2: Ok, so the fact is I have lst weight since I was competing in the amount of about 45lbs. And well since when did weight have anything to do with this sport?

POSTER: I'm assuming the pro Chris D. are family, because there is no way until he loses weight and gets in a gym that he can compete with the likes of Sask., Ont. and Manitoba's skips who played awesome at this year's nationals.

WCB2: My family does not comment on here they have better things to do and would place their names, trust me.

So, if you don't think I can compete - I invite you to an open competition against me - Anytime - and for that matter to anyone. I will gladly take anyone on in a 1 on 1. Then you can make uneducated claims that a persons weight has anything to do with their ability to play this sport. My god how low are you willing to go. No offence to anyone one player and with the utmost repsect but perhaps you should ask a few players at this years nationals. Maybe even LARRY from Sask (repsectfully Larry) he is bigger than I am or and with the utmost repsect here JIM ARMSTRONG.

I am making notice to all readers - this is the last of this crap I am going to allow on here. I am very close to removing the "Anonymous" shield which 99% of the readers hide behind. I am willign to allow comments but be educated in the comment and non-slanderous in nature.

Can I see your picture or name and perhaps I will make a comment on your wieght - COME ON!

Matt Dwyer said...

WOW are you kidding me. Well, said Chris and I would have said that you had in fact lost weight.

How low and uneducated are we people. Chris, I understand the reason behind the posting but do us all the favour and ingore these ASS_____.

Wow, people do we really want to lose the forum as a whole becuase that is just what is going to happen. Piss people off with you crap comments; go ahead and see if Chris does not close up shop and then we get no information.

As Chris said - COME ON!

Eric Eales said...

Wheelchair curling is a game that revolves around misses. The Saskatchewan skip, Darwin Bender, made a great shot through a narrow port, to put himself in position to win a championship in an extra end, but the port, and the gold medal, would not have been there had not Bruno's attempt to guard not over-curled.

Perhaps Jim's contribution to TC success was minimizing misses, as well as ice reading and instilling confidence in the rest of the team.

Joe Rea's record at World Championships without Jim at skip is not impressive' 6th, 4th, 4th and 7th, but I think he is most vulnerable to criticism for the fact that after 7 years in charge, the team collapsed missing one player. Having said that, we must remember he is a part-time coach, rarely sees his team, and relies on them working on their own the vast majority of the time.

Tony Zummack, who had some success with Alberta, is a full time coach who had many hours a month with a silver medal winning team, yet saw them crash in Korea.

I suspect there is something different happening. I suspect that this year's successful teams are just working harder than Canada at the boring grind it out stuff that is so hard to do unsupervised.

Who is training here in the way they play, braced while they throw sets of 10 or 20 rocks in-turn, then out-turn, hits then draws while someone watches their delivery and calls them for every shot that leaves the stick off-line? That takes 3 people, and it's boring, yet it's the only way to get good.

Most wheelchair curlers I know would do that for 10 minutes then opt for a simulated game. (And any routine that scores 5 for button, 4 for four foot etc is pure bullshit, though entertaining bullshit perhaps.)

I suspect that much of what is considered practice here is just wasted time. And because we have such great facilities, and so many opportunities to do the fun things, like playing in leagues, we think that counts as practice, when it doesn't.

My feeling is that there needs to be far more emphasis on technique, far more supervision of training outside of TC camps, and an appreciation that playing in leagues with and against able-bodied curlers may be enjoyable, but is irrelevant to preparation for high level wheelchair competition. Without Jim, who is now qualified to play after the June 2010 WCF rules revision, Canada lost the subtleties, as a previous poster mentioned, and were shown for what they were - a team whose skills have been superseded.

As for Chris' cheering section, they may not be doing him a service. I'm not going to delve into the politics, but if I was wondering whether to take another look at him, I would ask myself how many hours a week has he been practising, and under what conditions. I would ask what coach or coaches have been measuring his progress. I would ask whether he has shown a willingness to be part of something that he does not control and take personal credit for.

WT said...


Exactly what is your problem?

I mean who are you and what meaning do you have to this sport?

Yes, you did a service by providing information but it was always laced with personal opinion as it is again in your above comment again. You pick and pick and no wonder you have never got anywhere.

And as for the Chris comments at the end...WTF! Who cares about your opinion? Chris has never received a fair shake or chance due directly to JOE but the power control freak he is.

Does Chris play, let me answer this...YES, I play with him 3 times per week in a men's competitve league.

What coaches? Who cares what coaches measure his success or not. HE IS NOT in the program so who cares? I know Chris has been out a few times with Ernie Comerford and his group, I know he has worked with a couple of other coaches this year but again who cares. He is not going to get a fair shot with Joe in charge.

The only real question you ask is if he would be willing to get back involved? A fair question - Oh Chris do you want to be involved?

And as for the personal credit thing...give me a break. Chris as never taken credit; the only person who has done that is Sonja.

Why don't you take her on in a”who has taken credit for what” campaign -after all was it not you who said YOU INVITED THE HANDLE.

Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Anonymous said...

You are partly correct, Eric.

Joe Rea has had a free ride these past few years, winning every accolade in Canada as a coach, but doing very little. Jim has been the skip and COACH of the team, in my opinion, and Joe simply stayed out of the way. It was a winning combination, so why knock it?

For the very reason we just saw. The team is no better than over half of the international field without Jim.

The game is still neophyte, and Jim brings what is obviously lacking....knowledge, ice-reading, team dynamics, and work ethic.

I watched him throw at Richmond with and without Darryl for hours, and he would do drills.....ten or so rocks in the same path, with the same weight, and expecting the same result. It is a marvel when he hit a groove. He would throw a series of outside hits that would not roll more than two feet. And if they did, he would do it again on the next end.

I think that what has happened in the last year, since Jim headed east, was a disconnect with Darryl, with Darryl not practising as much, and when he was on the ice, it seems to be with another player, and they are playing some sort of game.

This season has shown the vulnerability of the program. In anticipation of Jim's return, whenever it finally is resolved, the Program best develop their own work ethic, Joe had best get back to meaningful coaching, and they best be ready to go.

It was a huge wake-up call....from no better than fourth place to three time reigning champions to seventh......

Let's get to work, Team Canada....you are getting paid to perform.

Bruce Cameron said...

Hiding behind initials doesn't cut it. If u are going to unnecessarily viciously personally attack someone who has given a lot to the sport then stand up and be counted. On the point of practice, Eric is correct. I have personally known Earl Morris for mni years. In addition to being John's father he has quite a curling resume and weLl respected coach. When I asked him for advice he said practice,practice. Too mni teams play too mni games and not enough practice. So WT PLEASE try to be nice

Anonymous said...




Wayne T. said...

Oh Bruce;

How thou put your a__ in your mouth.

I am not hiding at all. You have such a mouth.

99% of everyone chooses Anonymous; I played with Chris in a league. I am not going to put my last name because of the internet.

So, what tangent did you just roll down? Earl Morris? Where the hell did he come into this?

And as a matter of fact - Chris, knows and has worked with Earl on a few occasions.

But now to my point....

Chris plays and no one knows how good he is now. WHY? Because of Joe. So many people point fingers at Chris and few take the opportunity to know him or what he is doing. You all are quick to jump at him and some even more than Jim Armstrong. WHY?

Did him commit a crime..No

Did he get suspended for drug use, NO - regardless of intent or not.

He spoke out against JOE, spoke out against the program. That is all and he got kick out of a program. But does that stop him NO.

He plays, he coached and he is willing to participate if given a chance.

Far too many people put him down when many of us need to thank him.

Am I a Chris fan - not necessarily. He is a strong player that has been given a shitty wrap by an AS____. Ever met Joe - his own staff don't even like him. Ask them.

Way have some many players and staff gone by the way side. Chris, Gary, Chris S. , Bruno - All players how have been dismissed.

Ask Trevor Kerr how he was dismissed and why?

The only reason why Jim has not been dismissed by Joe is because Jim would punch Joe in the mouth more than speak to him. Give me a break man.

And as for Eric Eales - no words can fit for this guy. Not respected at all in the wheelchair curling world, oh wait by one guy. You Bruce!

Wheelchair Blog 2 said...

I am going to ask everyone to tone it down here or I am going to stop posting comments and remove the comments opportunity as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Wayne T, whoever you are.

I agree with the above.....you lose your impact if you want to defile someone and don't stand up to it. Personally, I enjoy anonymous because I value my privacy.

I, too, am NOT an Eales fan, BUT some of his comments are on the money, and when it comes to practice, he is on the mark.

As I indicated earlier, Darryl is lost without Jim, and, given age, should be next up for replacement,as everyone assumes.

As I have said, and YES, I AM A JIM FAN, the Team Canada Program needs to get back to basics.

They (players and coaches alike) have gotten soft, and have not worked as they should, in my opinion, with Jim both playing and coaching (unofficially) there has been no need...and so you know, Eric, I don't know what Jim's "official" credentials are for coaching, but back in the day, I actually took a course from him at the start of the formal start of Curl Canada.

I don't know what Joe has been paid, but I am sure it is too much for his input while Jim is there.

Shame on the Program for essentially riding on he tails of one, while losing their incentive to keep their nose to the grindstone.

Anonymous said...

Seems to be a theme.


CHris, as I have been told was a complete ass while he was the skip of TC. He has as much as admitted this, and left a lot of ill feelings within the Program. No news lash on this. Chris always refers to his new leaf, and knows how bad he was, but wants a chance to prove himself. WIth the success of TC prior to this Worlds, who would take a chance on a wild card, when you have already been burned, and the program is enjoying unprecedented success?

EXCEPT that was then and this is now. I don't know how much of the field ha surpassed Chris, but he does seem to have the desire to work at getting back in on his own credentials, and perhaps, while Jim may be out for a season, the Program COULD take a chance on Chris, with NO EFFECT on the primary team.

Give Chris a crack with Jim, and I am sure the Program would know within a month if Chris is 1) good enough technically, 2) coachable now, 3) at least as good strategically as the present members of TC, 4) has the appropriate attitude to be a positive with team dynamics.

Jim could assess without the "Joe influence", and if necessary either be his advocate or executioner....both would, in my opinion, be done fairly.

Food for thought in how best to use Jim

Anonymous said...

Good suggestion.

But wold Joe and Wendy even bend that far? Would Jim even be interested?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Chris is really as good as the present Team Canada, but I SUSPECT, given the chance, he could develop the work ethic of Armstrong, and I am sure would learn a lot.

Give him a chance, and at least let him slit his own throat.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is interested should be given a chance, whether it's Chris Daw or Chris Rees. There should be open try outs with objective observable, measurable criteria. Optimally, the winner of the Nationals should be representing Canada.

Wayne F said...

The last caller hit the nail on the head. Good IDEA

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Now that is funny!