Wednesday, February 06, 2008

World Wheelchairs

SURSEE – We’re here at the 2008 World Wheelchair Curling Championships, and let us tell you... these rollers can really rock.

Holy cow, USA second Jimmy Joseph is shooting 97 per cent right now, as his team is thumping the Swiss (photo above) by a 7-1 count. Do any of you have any idea how hard it is to shoot much more than 50 or 60 per cent from a wheelchair?!

Korea (7-1) and Canada (6-2) are through to the playoffs, with Norway and Italy (both 5-3) looking to join them in the Page playoffs. Sweden and the United States are at 4-4 and trying to have a say in the final round robin draw, underway now.

Follow the live scoring (and shot-by-shot graphics) here, with summaries also posted on the WCF website.

Faces in the crowd? Well, we happen to be sitting right beside a certain key player at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic curling extravaganza, and it looks like he’s sifting through applications for a certain dream job we talked about last week. Who knows... perhaps he’s looking at your file right now?

But the biggest surprise has to be... TSN curling commentator Vic Rauter.

Nope, the Vicster isn’t working... he’s here on personal time, for a few days, celebrating a 100th birthday with a family member (you remembered Rauter’s family is Swiss, right?). The birthday isn’t until later in the month, but Vic will be busy at the Regina STOH, so he is here now... and he even took some time to drop in and visit the wheelies. Great stuff.

Elsewhere ...

• Ottawa’s Joe Pavia pays homage to Gary Keeler today, and also mentions the Canadian Vision Impaired Championships going on, which now boasts a CCA webpage located here ...

• In Canadian men’s provincial play, 3-1 is good enough for first place in B.C.; NL’s Brad Gushue and Mark Noseworthy are both 2-0; T-Bay and Haileybury teams are 3-0 in Northern Ontario; and over in Ontario, Glenn Howard is 3-0... but who’s that sitting at 3-1? And a game ahead of Wayne Middaugh? It’s the Lobel brothers, that’s who ...

• In Canadian Junior action, Rick Lang’s daughter Sarah and her host team are still undefeated, while the boys’ field is a bit more muddled ...

• And we close on a couple of sad notes today.

First, the wheelchair curling world lost Thomas (Rusty) Drew on Monday. The inventor of the ExtendeR throwing stick died at his home in Belleville, Ontario after a lengthy illness.

And Muriel Fage also passed away on Monday, at age 60. The curling dynamo was a CCA director; Past President of the Nova Scotia Ladies Curling Association; a bigwig with the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and was most recently a director of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation.

Fage was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 2006 ...

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