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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sonja Gaudet (Hall of Fame)

CCA announces 2013 Hall of Fame inductees, award winners

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 - Posted by Allen Cameron


Two history-making players have been inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame, while three longtime curling boosters have been honoured with major awards, the Canadian Curing Association announced today.

Cathy King of Edmonton and Sonja Gaudet of Vernon, B.C., are the 2013 Hall of Fame inductees, while Dianne Barker of Kamloops, B.C., has won the Ray Kingsmith Award for commitment and dedication to curling, Samantha Stouffer of Brantford, Ont., has been named Volunteer of the Year, and Pat Bibby of Prince Albert has won the CCA Award of Achievement.

Cathy King, left, and Sonja Gaudet are the 2013 inductees into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame. (Photos: King, CCA/Michael Burns; Gaudet, courtesy World Curling Federation)
King and Gaudet will receive their awards during the CCA’s annual meetings in June; Stouffer will be honoured at the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier in Edmonton; and Barker and Bibby will be recognized by their respective Member Associations for their achievements.

Here’s a closer look at the 2013 honourees:

Cathy King (Hall of Fame)
Cathy King celebrates her win at the 2012 Canadian Seniors with her dad, Gord King. (Photo, courtesy Cathy King)

King made history in 2012 by becoming the first skip to ever win Canadian curling championships at the junior (back to back in 1977 and 1978), women’s (1998) and senior levels (2012).
A bronze-medallist at the 1998 Ford World Women’s Championship in Kamloops, B.C., King will once again wear the Maple Leaf on the international stage when she plays at the 2013 World Senior Women’s Championship, April 13-20 in Fredericton, N.B.

“I was pretty shocked to hear about this,” said King, who played in seven Scotties Tournament of Hearts, collecting gold in 1998 at Regina, and placing a second a year later at Charlottetown. She also earned a silver medal in 1995 at Calgary. “I thought maybe at some point I might be recognized, but I didn’t think it would be this soon, so it was really a nice surprise. The only thing I feel kind of strange about is that it’s not really an individual sport. I have to thank all the players who helped me top win this award because I couldn’t do it by myself. It’s all to do with them, too.”

Sonja Gaudet (Hall of Fame)
Sonja Gaudet is Canada’s most decorated wheelchair curler. (Photo, courtesy World Curling Federation)

Canada’s most decorated wheelchair curler is showing no signs of slowing down.
Gaudet has won gold medals at the past two Paralympic Winter Games, playing lead both times (in 2006 at Torino, Italy, with skip Chris Daw; in 2010 at Vancouver with skip Jim Armstrong).
As well, this past weekend in Sochi, Russia, Gaudet won her third world wheelchair curling championship gold medal. She also won gold in 2009 in Vancouver and 2011 in the Czech Republic, all with Armstrong as the skip.

“It totally comes as a surprise to me, for sure,” said Gaudet. “I mean, I’ve been treated like royalty by the CCA from Day 1 and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being an athlete on the national wheelchair curling team. I am thrilled.”

Gaudet becomes the first athlete inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame based on her wheelchair curling achievements (Armstrong also is a member, but was inducted prior to taking up wheelchair curling).

“Our sport has just moved forward in leaps and bounds,” said Gaudet. “The gap between the grassroots and our level is nowhere near what it was a few years ago. The skill level of our sport and the awareness of our sport has just grown tremendously. And this honour is definitely an indication of that.”

Dianne Barker, winner of the 2013 Ray Kingsmith Award. (Photo, CCA/Neil Valois)

Dianne Barker (Ray Kingsmith Award)

Former CCA president Ray Kingsmith was a tireless worker on behalf of curling, and the same description can be applied to Barker.

She’s a life member of the Kamloops Curling Club who’s participated in curling as an athlete, as an administrator (she served on the boards of the CCA and CurlBC) and as an official, having worked countless national and international competitions, including in recent years being the chief umpire at the 2011 and 2012 world junior championships. She was also the deputy chief of competition at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and will work as an on-ice official at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Samantha Stouffer (Volunteer of the Year)
Samantha Stouffer is the CCA’s 2013 Volunteer of the Year. (Photo, courtesy Samantha Stouffer)

Curling can’t succeed without the commitment of its volunteers, and Stouffer embodies the spirit of giving back to the Roaring Game.

During the 2011-12 curling season, while attending university on a full-time basis, Stouffer embarked on a mission to create a program for children outside of a classroom setting.
The end result was called Field Trip Fridays. The program introduced curling to students in Grades 2-8 at a cost of just $2 per student. She held classroom sessions with the students to teach them the sport, and then put them on the ice at the Paris Curling Club to give them hands-on-experience. It proved wildly popular as 942 students took part. The second year of the program was immediately filled with no advertising required.

Pat Bibby (Award of Achievement)

The CCA Award of Achievement recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly in one of four areas: builder, technical development, marketing and media.
Bibby has been a longtime volunteer for the Saskatchewan Curling Association, and has been an active player, coach, instructor and official. She has been an instructor at the SCA’s Prairieland Curling Summer Camp since 1995.

A member of the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame, Bibby was the vice-chair of the 2008 Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships host committee.


Anonymous said...

I hope Sonja gives credit to the people that got her there.

And that would be......

Joanne MacDonald said...

Huge congratulations to Sonja on this fabulous accomplishment. Being inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame is a major achievement and is truly something to be celebrated. Way to go Sonja!

Anonymous said...

YOU WILL NEVER see Sonja give credit to anyone but herself.

She does or will throw people under the bus when it suit her!

Sonja said...

Do you bloggers not have anything better to do!? You spend much time jotting down your negative thoughts. To pick apart other people on a regular basis, your life must be miserable.

Giving credit to the CCA and all former teammates has been done time and time again. It takes a supportive teammate to stay on any team for 9 years and maybe you negative bloggers shouldndt speak to what you know nothing about. Try replacing it with something positive!

If you have something to share or discus with or about me, please email me directly, the name anonymous is way over used!


Anonymous said...


You persective is an intersting one. What people are saying is based on observation; you should PUBLICLY acknowledge those which have gotten you were you are today and not just the current ones.

As a lead you do play a part on a team but a small part. You skills are that which have also been developed by many! Your abailiy to lay on the backs of many but gain such huge rewards are observed by all. (Example: who really invented the handle?)

You need to humble yourself and understand that more than you know;& understand the real truth!

Anonymous said...

I see a jealous person in the above post.

The reality is that Sonja is a real, albeit MINOR cog in the wheel, and Jim is the wheel.

How does a team go from first (three times) to seventh and then immediately back to first?

Doesn't appear that Joe and staff have the answers without Jim.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you look at the results of Worlds in the past few years, it seems that it is very balanced for results OTHER than Canada. Many counbtries have had good, then mediocre years. I uggest that the only thing that creates the imbalance is Jim.

If he were disallowed or retired, it would be a very healthy competition, with no favourite. This would likely be great for the sport.

Anonymous said...

You cannot fault Sonja for taking advantage of what has been handed to her.

She really should appreciate and acknowledge that very point, though, and who has provided her with her success.

Her being singled out WOULD NOT HAPPEN without the success the Program has had since Jim's arrival.

Like Jim or not, he has been the very compelling reason for the Program's success, and EVRYONE involved has taken the bows, from Joe to Wendy to Gerry Peckham, all now every coaching award in Canada.

Ottawa loves the concept of a coach-based selected team that has unparalleled success, since it validates all the thoretical coaching and support concepts they embrace, including the beaurocrats that enjoy the results.

Make no bones, the Program is an anomaly, as shown without Jim last year, and now upon his return.

They should be careful how many bows they take, in case they fall on their face, with Jim's retirement, or he tires of packing everyone on his back.

Enjoy the moment, but prepare for the future; which includes swallowing hard, ignoring politics and emotions, and developing the next round of Team Canada.

Anonymous said...

I truly feel the last poster has hit the issues right on the nose.

Sonja is the present "poster girl", Mark is being developed, but, without Jim, will there be anything to celebrate? Seventh place does not bring a lot of accolades.

Let this team get through Sochi 2014, but then let's reassess the entire Program and player development, preferably before Jim retires. Everyone knows or assumes that Jim is or has been the player-coach for years.

We surely are not a one person Program!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This has always been a one player program. As far back as DAW it has always been a one player program.

When Chris Skipped they won most of the time but he did not have the support team that Jim does now. When he left the program felt down and they got scared so along came Jim and the program is on top. Remove him and it really falls down.

I mean come on only 2 guys in the history of the program have had results both Skips.

Not much sight for the future of the program once Jim leaves

Anonymous said...

Actually, there was not much of a program in 2006, since the sport was so young, anyone could win on any given day, and results would likely be entirely different week to week.

But now, trends have emerged, and, other than the oddity of 2012, when anyone could win and anyone could come last, due to the equality of the teams.

What is the difference? Obviously Jim's presence.

He changes the entire winning landscape........certainly not Sonja, or any other player. It is amazing how much accolade she receives, even compared to the rest of the team.

If Jim retired, our coaching and playing advantage is gone, and Team Canada would be just another mediocre team, at best, as shown in Korea.

I wonder if OTP knows how precarious our perceived large advantage is?

Food for thought.

Anonymous said...

So, will there be any change for next year on Team Canada?

In Mark's interview, it was suggested that the team is NOT written in stone.

Will OTP reinstittute funding based on this year'win?

Will Sonja acknowledge how she wins?

Seems like a soap opera.

Anonymous said...

Sonja and Team Canada, as well as the Program showed their true worth last year.........middle to bottom of the pack.

No bows or gold without Jim, end of story and successful program.

Anonymous said...

The Canadian Program is a HOUSE OF CARDS.

Since the day Armstrong started, there have been nothing but GOLD, and the championship he missed resulted in an eigth place finish. Prior to him, post 2006, not even a podioum finish.

Yet this Program is presented as a well rounded, developmental program, with success that every other sport would die for.

What happens when Jim retires from playing? What if he does not stay around to at least coach? It was mentioned earlier, or he simply gets tired of packing the whole program and athletes on his back.

Sad Program, that certainly seems to be misrepresented to the world, whether on purpose or simply pereceived.

Complain about the proram and/or Jim, but we all do enjoy the additional funding that "winning" brings.

Anonymous said...

Some of thes bloggers are on the money.

The National Program appears to be so successful, and everyone has reaped the benefits, from Joe getting all the coaching awards, to Gerry getting a major award this season. Even other staff (Psychologists, etc.) I am sure have reaped new and better contracts, and who knows what else.

This type of success is a bureaucrats' dream.

All of this aside, I am sure that everyone would agree that there is simply no depth. Without Team Canada's skip, the Program is very, very fragile, and , of course, this is not simply an opinion, since the last two seasons have proven this beyond a doubt.

One has to wonder what Joe's contract is worth, and if there are bonuses attached.

Is there any way of determing what he actually gets paid, as well as the others?