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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Answering a few reader questions

So as a former national team member and avid curler I often get comments or question regarding my current status or why this or why did I do that. So, once and for all, I am going to answer a few questions which have come up on the blog about me and about the blog.

Why the sudden look at changing Anonymous postings policy?

 Well, simple. I am all for freedom of speech and all that. No worries. Like I said we are here to tell the stories and not the opinions. I do my very best to leave personal opinion out of it and to keep the comments published. However, the foul language and personal attacks have to come to an end. Personal attacks have legal ramifications and thus if you comment does not get posted it is not because I did not want to post it. It is because something in that posting has been check (by more than me) and the conclusion once not to post. I apologize if you think we don’t want to or are afraid to, that is not the case. We have to watch the libel suits which MAY occur and thus a vote of no posting the comment has occurred.

So, I received a rather long comment which asked a bunch of questions which I think is only fair to comment on.

Instead of having other people speak for you Chris, why don't you address the questions yourself and put things to rest. I think people want to hear your view on the topic and not just your so called supporters.

I want to make it clear, no one speaks for me. I speak for myself when I feel the need to comment. Also, I do not have any family comment on here. I  think my brother made one comment months ago but they are not avid blog 2 readers nor though our many years experience being associated in sports would do that. So please leave my family out of your comments – that is the magic line none of us should cross. Comments about me are one thing about my family is another.

How do you feel about what you have to do to play at a higher level?

I think the wheelchair curling game has progressed miles since I last competed in Sweden in 2007. This year’s Worlds and Nationals clearly showed us all that.  Until such a time as I choose to compete again in wheelchair curling I could not know where my level of understanding or play has progressed. Over the years I have worked hard as both a player and a coach to “stay in touch” with the game. I have had the chance to work with and play with some great coaches and players. My work with Korea last year was a great experience for me and I appreciated the faith the Korean program showed in letting me coach. I play in a men’s competitive league each week and thank Ernie Comerford for the opportunities he has shown me in joining in with his group this past year. THANK YOU Ilderton wheelchair curling group!

Why are you not on a wheelchair team now and playing in the provincials?

I am not on a wheelchair team right now for a number of reasons. As most of you know I moved back to Ontario after working in BC for the last few years. My family moved in September which by all accounts had most provincial teams formed and started for the year.  By the time I got settled in it was October and that would not have been appropriate for me to even expect to play at all. I was asked to play on a team this year but due to a number of personal reasons I was unable to accept nor at that time did I think it appropriate for me to accept. I mean really how unfair to other players would that have been.  

…. I have not seen any foul language, maybe some strong opinions, but that comes with the territory.

You don’t see any foul language because I and the editors either remove the language or the comment does not get posted. No disrespect to the contributor but I cannot post a comment that has more F this and F that than anything else.  We receive a great number of comments and unfortunately a good percentage of those comments are not able to be posted. Thus why we are asking the poll question.

 Should amputees be allowed to wheelchair curl when they could play stick curling.

Ok, so how do I feel on this one?  Simple, is an amputee considered to have a disability? Yes, they should be permitted to play wheelchair curling.

 It's obvious that a guy like Larry could stick curl, ( it sounds like he can work as a prison guard still, so I think he could stand and stick curl) so should he be wheelchair curling?

Again simple. YES! I know Larry and I like Larry, Great guy. Does that affect my decision for him to be considered a player no. My take on this has changed a bit over the years. Simple and in a cliff notes reversion of my thoughts it is simple. Any person who is considered to have a disability by a panel of qualified classifiers should be permitted to play at the Paralympic or international levels. And no folks I am not saying Larry should not play at that level.  If I understand it right Larry is a single leg amputee and thus has a disability, thus he can play. As for Jim Armstrong, Jim has been deemed classified by a panel thus he is classified – case closed! (Please no emails)

Now as for nationals and classification…I think we should review this and what players can play. Maybe we should follow something similar to wheelchair basketball and their players who can play at nationals.

 Or we could see if a player who is in a wheelchair someday play on a Brier or Scotties level team? What is everyone thoughts on that?

Any finally I think the national champion should represent Canada in international competitions. I think the national winner is good enough to represent the country and could facilitate provincial growth as well. So I hope you can clear the air around the questions to you Chris.

So, do I think the winner of nationals should become Team Canada? The answer at this time is NO, maybe in 4 years maybe but right now the answer is no and for a number of reasons. We have seen how the program needs to continue to grow and build its player pool. We have seen though other sports how performance finish at worlds, etc. determines funding and that is no different in WC curling. Right now we as a country are not quite ready for the winner to become Team Canada. But if this year’s nationals indicate anything; we are very close!

So there are a few answers to a few questions which keep coming up. As for my future? Stay tuned because , I am still trying to figure that one out myself and most of that has to do with work and where I will be next year, month or week. When I know, I am sure someone on the BLOG or the news will let you know.

Thanks for the support from all of you. We are doing our best to tell your story, so please be a contributor in whatever way you can – donation, results, story, link or COMMENT.

We will do our best to get the information out there.


Anonymous said...

Just one comment to clear up a misconception...Larry IS a prison gaurd YES .....BUT Larry sits and watches monitors now that he has lost his leg.

Daniel said...

Much appreciated the Q & A which I hope clears up some of the issues of interest to the wheelchair curling community,

Would it be possible to have an article or two with some discussion on Strategy & Tactics for wheelchair curling?

What about the length of the delivery sticks!

Would it be helpful to do a survey of wheelchair curling by province? How many players (active or recreational, competitive, occasional)? How many teams are there in each province? Where are they playing?

Anyone have any other ideas for discussion that could help the development of wheelchair curling?

Dan Janidlo
Pointe-Claire, QC

Wheelchair Blog 2 said...

I love these ideas and this would be great to cover over the summer break!

Watch for it!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Chris;

Just a quick querie, which has been alluded to over the past couple of years.

Jim, in essence took over from you skipping Team Canada.

How do you view your relationship with Jim, and Jim towards you?

Everyone beats up you being mentored by jim, but is it even feasible?

I sense you do know Jim on a more intimate level than just a phone call. WHat is he really like?

Wheelchair Blog 2 said...

To answer your question -

I would consider Jim and I to be friends.

I met Jim in 2007 when Wendy Morgan had me meet him in Guelph just beofre Jim joined Team Canada.

Since then Jim and I have spoken and shared a few of life moments. He is a knowledgable guy in both curling and life.

I had the pleasure to work with Jim on a provinical team and although it was not a success it was becuase life got in the way at that time and not because him or I had any problems on or off the ice.

Life can sometimes and sometimes does need to take priority over curling.

Jim is a good person and has a heart of gold however he is a guy you do not want to cross.

Why people beat me up because of it I have no idea.

Jim and I have spoken about not having a problem with each other and give each othr a call every so often to touch base.

In short, Jim is a friend and I have no problems with him at al either on or off the ice.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Joe can earn his pay and do a piece on strategy.....that would be an interesting piece.

Anonymous said...

The bloggers suggestion of a strategy session, or even a weekly piece on strategy, equipment, etc., would be great......

How busy is the Team Canada staff right now?

Maybe they can give us an insight into the international scene, tips, etc.?

Anonymous said...

Any chance Joe, Jim, Daryl, or Wendy would do a strategy session or two?

I think it would be a great idea. Perhaps even a "quiz", where scenarios are presented, and a couple of days is allowed to think things through. Then an "answer from the experts".

Jim did a GREAT JOB in Richmond, but, unfortunately was way too time limited.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I suspect Jim would be more knowledgeable than Joe or Wendy regarding strategy.