Thursday, August 20, 2009

Canuck Curling Coaches

As faithful TCN readers already know, the Swiss coaching experiment starring Russ Howard is more-or-less over but a dual Manitoba-Swiss experiment, at the national team level, has just begun.

Yesterday’s news that Alberta’s Rennee Sonnenberg has agreed to coach the Danish Olympic women’s team is just one more example of Canada’s influence in the world of curling. And there already exists an example within Denmark: Winnipeg’s John Helston, who won the 1984 Brier with skip Mike Riley, has been working with the Olympic men’s team – skipped by Ulrik Schmidt – for a few years now.

Which brings us to another Schmidt. We understand that the U.S. Olympic teams will be jetting to Switzerland, tomorrow, for 10 days of training, accompanied with teams from Austria, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

The training centre is the Kussnacht Curlinghalle, which just happens to be one of the stomping grounds of Rodger Schmidt, the Canadian-born curling coach who has been based in Switzerland for many years.

Schmidt, of course, is the well-regarded European columnist for The Curling News... although we dug this news up from our side of the Atlantic, using Swiss search engines and U.S.-based spies.

And the Canadian coaching beat goes on.

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