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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Golden win for former resident of area

Orginal article: Sask News

A golden moment for Marie Wright.

Marie Wright, a former resident of the south Glen Ewen area and now of Moose Jaw, celebrated a golden moment recently when the team she plays with won the 2012 National Wheelchair Curling championship.

This was the fourth year Marie has played for Team Saskatchewan and her fourth time competing at the nationals.
The competition ran from Mar. 19-25 in Thunder Bay, and teams came from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Northern Ontario (2), Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The games were eight ends, and Team Saskatchewan played each team in a round robin format. The top four teams from the round robin made the playoffs.

“We finished the round robin with seven wins and two losses, the same as Quebec,” Marie said. “But because we had beat Quebec in the round robin game we finished ahead of them in second place.”
Marie said the ice was great. It was the first time the team had played at the Thunder Bay facility, but the ice was very similar to that which they played on all season in Regina at the Callie.

“The biggest difference was, for the last four ends the ice would tend to get a bit heavy. We time our rocks from hog line to hog line though, so when you are aware of the ice getting heavier you just give a little extra push,” she said. “Our coaches had us well trained for this!”

For Marie, the second on the team, the best part of the competition and the most exciting was winning the gold medal. It was also wonderful to reunite with all the friends she’d made from curling at previous championships.

“It was awesome,” she said. “I still have a perma-smile.”

She admitted to feeling extremely nervous going into the championship game against Alberta.
“I had thousands of butterflies flying around in my stomach, and I thought I was going to be sick,” she said. “Our skip even gave me his headphones, to listen to some rock music to try and stop the nerves.”

CANADIAN CHAMPIONS: Larry Schrader (Regina), Marie Wright (Moose Jaw), Gil Dash (Wolsley), Darwin Bender (White City), and coaches Bob Capp (Regina) and Lorraine Arguin (Moose Jaw).Once the game started, Marie said she quickly calmed down, and concentrated on the play. Their skip Darwin Bender made a fantastic draw with his last shot in the 8th end to tie the game, and force the extra end. This meant Team Saskatchewan didn’t have hammer, and would have to steal a point in the extra end for the win.

Marie said she remembers being completely focused when it was her turn to throw. She zoned in on the broom at the other end, and told herself to hit the broom and throw the right weight.

“I was asked to put up a guard with my first rock, and it was perfect. Then my last shot I had to do a double raise take out to get Alberta’s rock out of the house. And I did it!!! Then Gil (third) raised ours into the four foot and after that we kept guarding. We couldn’t have played that extra end any better. We all came out and made our shots, and they couldn’t get to our rock.”

“It was such an amazing feeling winning that game! I was laughing and crying at the same time. And I knew everyone back at home was celebrating with us.”

Marie said Team Saskatchewan went into the competition wanting to at least make the playoffs, as they had missed them every other year. By mid-week, they felt they had the chance to be in the final game as they had been playing pretty consistently.

“I think it helps our team so much because we all get along so well, and our coaches are top notch. When we made the playoffs I remember Lorraine telling us, ‘I’m so proud of you guys – I feel like you’re my kids.’ And I think we do well, because we are like family!”
(Marie is the daughter of Mary Hawker and the late Bob Hawker.)

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