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CanadaĘźs Kevin Martin (back) urges on his sweepers Tuesday as his team rolled over Norway 9-2 for its seventh straight win and sole possession of first place at the Ford Worlds.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009 2

The EYE OPENER EDITOR Larry Wood ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dave Komosky INFO-CURL QUOTIDIEN: Normand Leger PHOTOGRAPHER: Mike Burns Jr. PUBLISHED BY: The Times&Transcript

Draw to the Button Competition Participating curling clubs in the Maritimes have held competitions to determine their representative at the “Draw to the Button Competition. Qualifying round on Friday, April 10th at 1 p.m. at Curling Beausejour Inc. The finalists will compete during the fifth-end break at Friday night’s 7:30 p.m. playoff game.

wonderful prize. The draw will be made during the page playoff game (draw 18) on Friday evening, April 10.

Autograph Session – Proudly sponsored by Hansen Signs Former world champions and the 12 participating teams will be available for autographs in The Patch each day until Thursday, April 9. On Saturday, April 11th, 10 of the 12 teams will be on hand. Bring your cameras for a lasting memento. Schedule: Today 6-7 p.m. — CAN/CHN/FRA/JPN Saturday, April 11th 2-3 p.m. All participating teams except the semi-finalists

Up Close and Personal – Proudly sponsored by InColor, Aliant and Coca-Cola Come and meet teams, media and international personalities in the relaxed setting of the Keith’s Patch. Participate in live, informative interview with former world champions, Team Canada, TSN media and other special guests. Asking questions of these guests involves audience participation, so join us for what promises to be an informative and fun event. Today 6-6:30 p.m. — Team Canada Thursday 6-7 p.m. — 2010 Vancouver Olympics – Neil Houston Sport Manager, Curling; 2006 Olympic Gold Medallist – Russ Howard Friday 6-7 p.m. — TSN commentators

Pin Trading and Map of the World Pin Draw – Proudly sponsored by Lounsbury Group Visit the Pin Trader booths in the Patch. Show us where you’re from! Find the world map located in the Keith’s Patch and stick a pin on your home town, get an entry from the Information Booth, and enter the draw to win a

KEITH’S PATCH The Keith’s Patch is open to the public, but a ticket or a Patch promotional ticket (green) is required. Curling tickets can be purchased from the Coliseum box office up until closing time at 9 p.m.

  

         

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They’re running for cover Martin crashing, burning through World field wrecked on his first shot practically every end — four out of six, I think. He made a lot of his second rocks. And the ones he didn’t make stayed Eye Opener Editor straighter.” Martin said the morning win over Switzerland he word is intimidation. They said Kevin Martin’s Edmonton was Canada’s best team effort to date. But he sidecurling team exuded intimidation at the Tim stepped the intimidation question. “We mean to be aggressive wherever we can,” Hortons Brier in Calgary. All Martin and John Morris, Marc Kennedy and he said. “That’s just the way we play. If you see a Ben Hebert accomplished there was 13 straight little oil leaking you want to go after it, so we normally try to step it up if you can pick up the other victories for their immaculate efforts. Now they’re bearing witness to the reasons why team in trouble or struggling with a spot in the ice. the word is again being bandied about . . . this time If they make every shot one end they’ll probably get two or three points. But you take that risk. You at the Moncton Coliseum. In short, the Canadian champs have everybody want to take advantage of every situation.” Stoeckli had one opportunity to square accounts running for cover. The Martinizers wrapped up another unbeaten in the game with a well-placed guard in the third end. “He had us in big trouble,” admitted Martin. “If day at the Ford World men’s curling championship on Tuesday and head into its final four round-robin he makes a good guard I don’t know what we assignments today and Thursday with a 7-and-0 would have done. We’re not getting two, that’s for sure.” record. The swing was from a possible 2-2 to 4-1 for Nobody in the field is closer than 5-and-2. And that team, skipped by Thomas Ulsrud of Norway, Canada. “We gave him points easily all game,” said was Canada’s seventh victim on Tuesday night . . Stoeckli, who is 3-and-4. “It was always like, we . by a 9-2 count in a matter of six ends. have them in trouble, we have a bad miss It figured to be the most formidable day and they have an easy shot for two.” in a few weeks for Martin’s crew. And for In the afternoon, the Swiss shuffled the the first time since the start of the Brier, deck with second Markus Eggler assuming the Canadian skip failed to win a buttonskipping duties, Stoeckli tossing last rocks draw for first-end hammer in the morning and third Jan Hauser dropping to second. or a coin toss in the evening after both “I wasn’t comfortable with where to put skips covered the pin. the broom,” explained Stoeckli. “And that So much for the importance of the SEE was affecting my shooting. I wanted to hammer. Martin stole two in the first end SCORES, focus more on myself and my shots.” against Switzerland and wrapped up an 8Page 13 Eggler skipped the last Swiss world win3 win in seven ends. Then, on the night ner back in 1992. shift, Canada stole three in the first end “We’re taking it game by game now,” added and proceeded to wallop the reeling Norwegians who had earlier been burned 3-2 by the Swiss in Stoeckli. “We just have to feel more comfortable out there and we’ll do whatever we can to facilitate the afternoon. “The key game was our loss to Switzerland,” that.” Five teams finished Day Four at the Worlds with said Ulsrud later. “We shouldn’t have lost that one. We were far too defensive. This one, I think I had 4-and-3 records — Germany, Scotland, the U.S., it coming. In the back of my head I was trying to France and Denmark. Only the top four teams advance to Page playoffs tell myself, ‘come on, you can go out there and have a chance against these guys’. But there was a starting Friday and Canada already appears to be a brutal swing out there and they handled that much lock for the Page One-Two playoff which leads dibetter than us and I think that was the biggest dif- rectly to Sunday’s 7:30 p.m. championship final. Germany and Denmark each won twice — Gerference. “After the first end I dumped the rocks I was many 7-5, when French skip Thomas Dufour missed using but then I wrecked with another pair. I a routine double with his last rock for a winning thought, ‘hey, at this rate, you’re going to run out deuce, and 8-4 over Kalle Kiiskinen of Finland; Ulrik Schmidt’s gang 9-6 over John Shuster of the of rocks’.” Of the supposed feature match, Martin, who shot U.S. and 8-4 over Yusuke Morozumi of Japan. France and the Yanks split on the day while 100 per cent over six ends, opined: “Thomas missed more than I would have ex- 2006 champion David Murdoch of Scotland was pected. We hadn’t seen those rocks before. Scot- shocked by a pair of rank outsiders — China (9-7) land lost to the Czechs with those and now Norway and the Czechs (5-4). It was China’s first-ever win didn’t make much against us with those. We get to over the Scots but the Czechs’ second in as many enjoy those against Scotland on Thursday. So let’s world championships. “It’s not looking good,” moaned Murdoch. “I reserve judgment on those until Thursday. There’s think that’s the first time in a few years that we’ve got to be something funny there.” “He (Ulsrud) hardly ever misses a draw. And he lost two in a row, maybe the first time ever.”

By LARRY WOOD

T

Scotlandʼs David Murdoch was shocked by a pair of outsiders and tumbled down the standings.


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6 Wednedsday, April 8 2009

EDITOR Larry Wood ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dave Komosky INFO-CURL QUOTIDIEN: Normand Leger PHOTOGRAPHER Mike Burns Jr. PUBLISHED BY: The Times&Transcript

The Wood file “

One thing about the (Ford) Worlds,” Kevin Martin was saying, “it’s all about where everybody finishes. “That’s huge. “I don’t think it matters to some of these teams whether they play Canada or not. It’s all about where they finish at the end of the week. “There are a lot of different scenarios so it’s neat to watch. The Europeans all are intense. It doesn’t matter what their record is. The idea is to get as many wins as possible for their country’s standing in the world of curling. “It’s different than what we’re used to in Canada and that’s pretty cool.” T’is a strange paradox in elite world curling today. North Americans, and particularly Canadians, play the game for (a) money, and (b) country. In Europe, it’s the other way around. And the impetus behind the European philosophy is something called the Winter Olympic Games. It’s no secret Martin and his Edmonton troops would love to represent their country at Vancouver RALPH STOECKLI 2010, too. But there are more than a few other teams in Canada with the same goal in mind. And the national thinking is entirely different. In Europe, the pressure is much greater. And the funding is channeled in only one direction — the medal podium. “In France,” skip Thomas Dufour was musing the other day, “the Olympics are very big Murdoch made numerous appearances in but the world curling championships and Euro Canadian bonspiels last fall. So did Norway’s championships, they are nothing.” Thomas Ulsrud and Ralph Stoeckli of Scotland’s David Murdoch, a professional Switzerland. Sweden’s three-time world curler backed by U.K. Sport, sings a similar champion Peja Lindholm pioneered the practune. “We save our game for the championships,” tice. There is, however, a divergent attitude in says the Scottish skip. “We put a lot more emEurope toward the necessity of playing phasis there. It’s the be-all and end-all for us. against top teams and on fast ice in Canada in When we come over here to Canada and play order to increase the prospects for medals. on the tour it’s about practice, getting in a “We don ‘t come over because we can’t afgroove and playing well. But, for us, medals ford it, no chance,” says Germany’s Andy mean everything. I don’t care if I take home Kapp, a certain Olympic qualifier. one dollar or a fistful from Canada as long as “It’s not a matter of the costs. We could get we play well and it puts us in line for getting the funding if we asked for it. But we can’t get medals. away from work. We all have our own busi“It’s obviously very different for the guys nesses. over here. They need the money to play in “If you count everything we’re looking at more and more tournaments. For us, it’s diffor next year, we’ll be away 11 weeks already. ferent. We lose our funding if we don’t get It would be impossible to come over for anmedals. So it’s a big, big thing and, of course, other two tournaments in Canada. You can’t there’s the Olympic program and curling just fly over and play for a weekend. You have needs to do well in order to get the money for to stay for two weekends at least. And if you the Olympic program.” arrive the first weekend and play the next day

LARRY WOOD

KEVIN MARTIN

Cash is nice, but it’s all about the podium for European curlers you are totally smashed because you are in jet lag. “We feel if you stay too long away from home and work, and only for curling, you get burned out. In our team we have 10 or 11 kids between the five of us. And if you go away with a bad feeling at home you can’t perform. Curling isn’t our whole lives, it’s just a little part of them.” Kapp insists the European tour — competition every second weekend — is improving by the year, and that goes for the ice surfaces, too. “The standard is getting close to Canada,” he says. “We’re getting much better arena ice. We play the same people we’re playing here for the most part. Murdoch is doing the whole tour. The Swiss and Norwegians, too. “We just don’t feel the constant travel overseas is that big a benefit to us. Yes, we’d play against more Canadian teams. But we like the Euro tour much more because we can drive Friday morning, play eight or 10 games and then drive back.

“You have to determine how much time you spend and then look at the result. We don’t think it pans out for us.” Germany’s pre-Olympic practice schedule, aside from the Eurotour, will include one trip to Canada for a Slam tournament at Toronto in late October and, then, the Euro championship at Aberdeen, Scotland, in December. “This event is one more preparation for us,” says Kapp. “So every game on this championship ice is practice.” Says Stoeckli, whose team has been struggling big-time this week. “There’s pressure, of course. We have to finish top eight here. There are so many top teams and you can win or lose to anybody on any given day. But at least it’s a game. I’m not going to die if I fail. “But, yes, it’s our dream to get back to the Olympic Games and that’s why we spend so much time and effort.

PLEASE SEE WOOD P12


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 7

  





       



  

   

 

                

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009 8

Profile: France CHAMONIX CURLING CLUB (CHAMONIX)

FACTS

Thomas Dufour SKIP

Born: Ch amonix. Age: 36. Residen ce: Chamon ix. Family: S ing Employm le. ent: Ski guide. Years cu rlin First majo g: 20. r cess: Fre sucnch junio r champio n, 1 Won: Sil 990. ver medal 19 92 junior ch world ampionship, b ro medal, 1 nze 993 world ju nio champio r nship.

Tony Angiboust THIRD Born: Chamonix. Age: 25. Residence: Chamonix. Family: Single. Employment: Sports club manager. Years curling: Eight. First major success: French junior champion, 2001. Won: N/A

THE COUNTRY Population: 65,073,482 Area: 674,843 km sq Location: Bordered by Belgium and Luxembourg (north), Germany, Switzerland, Italy (east), Monaco, Andorra, and Spain (south). Status: France is the largest country in the European Union and the second largest in Europe and possesses the fifth largest economy in the world, according to nominal GDP figures. It is the most visited country in the world, receiving 82 million foreign tourists annually. France is one of the founding members of the European Union, a founding member of the United Nations, and a member of the Francophonie, the G8, NATO, and the Latin Union. Motto: “Liberty, equality, brotherhood.” Capital City: Paris Principal Products and Industries: France is the world’s fifth-largest exporter and the fourth-largest importer of manufactured goods. It is also the most energy independent Western country due to heavy investment in nuclear power, which also makes France the smallest producer of carbon

Richard Ducroz SECOND Born: Chamonix. Age: 25. Residence: Chamonix. Family: Single. Employment: Bartender, Le Grenier Restaurant. Years curling: 12. First major success: French junior champion, 2001 Won: 2009 French men’s championship.

dioxide among the seven most industrialized countries in the world. France the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe. Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef, and pork, as well as an internationally recognised foodstuff and wine industry are primary French agricultural exports. FRANCE AT THE WORLDS 2008 — Thomas Dufour, Chamonix (6-5). 2007 — Thomas Dufour, Chamonix (6-6). 2006 — Failed to qualify 2005 — Failed to qualify 2004 — Thomas Dufour, Chamonix (2-7). Last championship: None. DID YOU KNOW n France’s first global curling appearance was in the 1966 Scotch Cup world men’s curling championship at Vancouver.

Jan Ducroz LEAD Born: Chamonix Age: 37 Residence: Chamonix Family: Sons Niklas (15), Theo (12). Employment: Ski resort owner. Years curling: 24. First major success: French junior champion, 1990. Won: Silver medal, 1992 world junior championship.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 9

Profile: China HOME CLUB: HARBIN CURLING CLUB (HARBIN)

FACTS

Fengchun Wang SKIP

Born: Ha rbin. Age: 27 Residen ce: Family: S Harbin. ing Employm le. en Harbin W t: Curler, inter Sports T raining Centre. Years cu rling: Eight. First majo r success: 20 07 Pacific curling c hampionship. Won: 200 7a 2008 Pac snd ific champio nships.

Rui Liu THIRD Born: Harbin. Age: 27 Residence: Harbin. Family: Single. Employment: Curler, Harbin Winter Sports Training Centre. Years curling: Seven. First major success: 2007 Pacific curling championship. Won: 2007 and 2008 Pacific championships.

THE COUNTRY Population: 1,330,851,865 Area: 9,640,821 km sq Location: Bordered on the west with the Himalayas and the Tian Shan mountain ranges forming China's natural borders with India and Central Asia. In contrast, China’s eastern seaboard is low-lying and has a 14,500-kilometre long coastline bounded on the southeast by the South China Sea and on the east by the East China Sea beyond which lies Korea and Japan. Status: China’s importance in the world today is reflected through its role as the world's third largest economy nominally and a permanent member of the UN Security Council as well as being a member of several other multilateral organizations. In addition, it is a nuclear state and has the world's largest standing army with the second largest defense budget. Motto: “One world, one dream.” Capital City: Beijing Principal Products and Industries: The state still dominates in strategic “pillar”

Xiaoming Xu SECOND Born: Harbin. Age: 24. Residence: Harbin. Family: Single. Employment: Curler, Harbin Winter Sports Training Centre. Years curling: Eight. First major success: 2002 Chinese championship. Won: 2007 and 2008 Pacific championships.

industries (such as energy and heavy industries), but private enterprise (30 million private businesses) now accounts for approximately 70 per cent of China’s national output. CHINA AT THE WORLDS 2008 — Fengchun Wang, Harbin (7-6). 2007 — Failed to qualify 2006 — Failed to qualify 2005 — Failed to qualify 2004 — Failed to qualify Last championship — None DID YOU KNOW n China’s first global curling appearance was in the 2005 world junior women’s curling championship at Pinerolo, Italy, and in the 2005 world women’s curling championship at Paisley, Scotland.

Jialiang Zang LEAD Born: Harbin. Age: 21 Residence: Harbin Family: Single. Employment: Curler, Harbin Winter Sports Training Centre. Years curling: Six. First major success: 2006 Chinese junior championship. Won: 2007 and 2008 Pacific championships.


10 Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Info-curl quotidien

Par Normand Léger

Ben et Lorine Lavigne sont de fidèles spectateurs

L

e Championnat mondial de curling masculin Ford attire une foule intéressante de spectateurs cette semaine au Colisée de Moncton alors que les meilleurs joueurs de curling au monde se font la lutte pour la suprématie mondiale dans ce sport. La région du Moncton Métropolitain est considérée comme un lieu fortuné pour le curling et plusieurs adeptes de ce sport fréquentent régulièrement les trois clubs de la région. Un des spectateurs le plus âgé cette semaine ne manquerait pas une minute de l’action. Ben Lavigne a eu 90 ans en janvier et lui et son épouse, Lorine, ont acheté leur abonnement pour le championnat plus d’un an passé parce qu’ils ne voulaient pas rater de match. « Je passe ma semaine ici, a dit Lavigne qui joue depuis 51 ans au club de curling Beauséjour. Je veux assister à toutes les parties d’Équipe Canada parce que les joueurs sont très habiles et intéressants à voir. Je n’ai pas été trop impressionné par les autres équipes jusqu’à présent, les joueurs ratent plusieurs jeux. Parfois, j’aimerais aller sur la glace et les aider », a-t-il ajouté en riant.

Ben et Lorine Lavigne présents au Colisée. Ben Lavigne et son épouse sont encore actifs sur la scène locale. Ben joue deux ou trois fois par semaine et est un bénévole actif du club. Il a participé à plusieurs championnats provin-

Un championnat appuyé par la communauté

Le Rendez-vous Keith’s toujours prêt à vous accueillir Les amateurs de curling ont la chance cette semaine de rencontrer des amis et de relaxer au Rendez-vous Keith’s Patch qui se trouve dans l’édifice de l’agréna en annexe au Colisée de Moncton. Plusieurs activités de divertissement s’y retrouvent et c’est grâce au travail du viceprésident, Rick Melanson, et de ses cinq directeurs qui ont mi le paquet pour offrir un programme varié de musique et de bouffe de tous les goûts. « Je suis content de succès du Rendez-vous, a dit Melanson. Nous avons des artistes de renommée et je sais que les gens découvrent petit à petit cet établissement tout en appuyant le mondial du curling. Notre objectif était de créer un lieu de rassemblement ou les gens peuvent se rencontrer après les matches et manger tout en écoutant de la musique. Les gens me disent qu’ils aiment bien l’atmosphère. Nous avons déjà plusieurs billets de vendus pour les quatre derniers soirs. » Les gens sont rappelés qu’il est nécessaire de se pourvoir un billet pour entrer au Rendez-vous à moins d’avoir un billet pour

ciaux ainsi que des tournois divers. La famille a acheté ses billets dans l’extrémité sud du Colisée pour voir tout ce qui se passe sur la glace. Lavigne dit avoir rencontré plusieurs personnes depuis le début du tournoi, des gens qu’il n’avait pas vu depuis des années. « Ce tournoi me donne bien des souvenirs et me rappel le Balai d’Argent Air Canada en 1980. Je ne voulais pas manquer ce tournoi. Je joue encore au curling une ou deux fois par semaine et je vais probablement jouer au golf cet été. J’ai également remis mes tests à l’hôpital cette semaine afin de ne pas avoir de rendez-vous pour ne rien manquer du curling. » Pour sa part, Lorine a remporté le championnat de curling de Moncton en 1975 et a joué pendant 28 ans. Leur fille Denise s’est distinguée en remportant plusieurs honneurs chez les juniors. On signale que Ben peut encore glisser le long de la glace aussi bien que des jeunes et en signe de reconnaissance pour sa grande contribution au curling, la ligue du mardi après-midi Beauséjour-MCA a pris le nom de Curling Ben Lavigne. Ce couple a grandement œuvré au développement de ce sport dans la région et dans la province.

Richard Melanson. le curling. L’histoire des 50 dernières années du curling est également racontée pour ceux qui s’y intéressent et il y a même une section pour les entreprises qui veulent y tenir une rencontre. Le Rendez-vous est ouvert de 11 h à 1 h du matin tous les jours et le public est invité à s’y rendre.

Rendu à mi-chemin du Championnat mondi- indiqué que le tout était acceptable. Les foules ont été nombreuses jusqu’à al de curling masculin, le président du comité présent, ce qui plait bien à M. Lockyer et aux organisateur, James Lockyer, est enthousiaste et heureux de l’appui de la communauté envers membres de son comité. « Je dois préciser qu’il y a encore de très bons bilcette activité d’envergure internalets à vendre pour les autres tionale. matches, incluant les parties de « Je dois beaucoup aux plus de la fin de semaine. Je reçois 500 bénévoles réunis dans 36 également des commentaires très comités et appuyé par sept viceintéressants des gens que je renprésidents, a dit Lockyer lors contre et tous sont heureux et d’une courte pause dans ses allés même apprécient beaucoup ce et venues. Nous avons eu des que nous avons fait cette pépins que nous avons pu régler semaine. Les gens parlent beauassez rapidement comme la concoup des cérémonies et surtout dition de la glace et certaines de la jeune Isabelle Pelletier. Les communications entre nos divers spectateurs apprécient beaucoup comités. La glace est excellente être prêt de la glace pour bien pour la compétition et je suis voir tout ce qui se passe en plus heureux que le championnat se de la disponibilité des joueurs déroule très bien. Tous les bénévqui sont de calibre mondial. » oles me disent qu’ils sont James Lockyer Il y a 18 mois que le comité heureux de leurs tâches cette organisateur s’est mi en branle et avec semaine. » l’énorme travail accompli jusqu’à présent, le Il a fait chaud samedi dans le Colisée et la glace n’était pas à son meilleur état. Cependant, président Lockyer est un homme heureux. le skip de l’équipe canadienne, Kevin Martin, a « Nous avons démontré que nous savons faire les choses en grand; les gens savent qui nous indiqué que la condition de la glace est excelsommes et surveillez-nous dans l’avenir. » lente et même samedi lors de la chaleur, il a


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 11 CanadaĘźs (l-r) John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert have rock star status.                                                              

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Curling on the world stage means players must make shots . . . and time for their fans



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By BILL GRAVELAND 

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hile curlers in Canada are accustomed to being in the spotlight, representatives from the other countries are getting a taste of the rock star treatment at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Moncton. When Canada’s Ben Hebert and John Morris dropped in to the Keith’s Patch, the watering hole of choice for many fans at the tournament, neither curler needed to buy a drink. The pair spent most of the evening signing autographs and posing for pictures. “There are some nights when you just want to put on the ‘Guy Incognito’ cos- GRAVELAND tume and go in and no one knows who you are and you can just go have a beer with your buddies,� says Morris. “But it’s part of the game and I’ll never turn down an autograph. I’ve seen guys get too big for their britches and I’ll always make time available to make sure I’m there for the fans.� Making time for fans isn’t something Thomas Ulsrud worries much about back home where the Norwegian skip would never be recognized on the street, let alone asked for an autograph. “I’m happy with two weeks of fame here at the Worlds,� says Ulsrud. “That’s good enough for me. Back in Norway no one recognizes us except for those people who also curl.� Curlers from around the globe get the chance to live the high life when world championships are held in Canada. There are autograph sessions set

aside for all the teams and a chance to interact with appreciative fans. “This is perfect for us,� says Ulsrud. “Two weeks of playing curling on great ice and big crowds and people want to talk to you and have autographs and things like that. It’s perfect.� Skip Kevin Martin, the four-time Brier champion and defending world champion, has been dealing with celebrity status for decades. “Here it’s fine but in a restaurant at home with my family it’s a little different,� Martin says with a grimace. “That’s something that my son, who is 19 now, has grown up with since he was little. Our family just gets used to it and you deal with it. “If you don’t like it stay home and have supper and barbecue on your deck.� The rock star status even carries over when Martin goes on vacation. “If we go to somewhere like Florida or California — of course it’s all Canadians down there,� he says. “So it’s the same thing when we go to vacation spots.� Ulsrud, who will represent Norway at the 2010 Winter Olympics, thinks curling’s popularity will get a boost in his home country once it is televised next year. That’s not likely to happen in the Czech Republic where skip Jiri Snitil estimates there are about 500 curlers in the whole country. “People don’t care about curling much other than a few articles in the paper,� says Snitil as he heads to an autograph session. “Back home it’s soccer and hockey.� Even with the attention he gets in Canada, Snitil says he doesn’t feel like a star. “It’s nice that people do recognize us and people like our autographs and pictures,� he says. “But we don’t feel like stars. We’re just guys who are hoping to win a game and play as good as possible.�


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 12

Wood From Page 6 “It’s true we’re not over here to win money. That’s the difference between Kevin Martin and the Canadians and the Europeans. We come here to play the best teams in the world. All of these Canadian teams could represent Canada on the international stage. So first of all, it’s great to play those teams, and secondly, you play them on perfect ice conditions. It allows us to learn how to play curling on perfect ice. We supposedly know how to play it on bad ice.“ The Swiss spent two weeks on tour this season. “The prizes are nice to aim for because you want to play as many games as possible,� says Stoeckli. “You don’t want to play three games and go home. But it’s not the main reason we play here. “The Swiss association funds us and they want medals. We’d love to spend even more time here but to do that we have to become more professional in Switzerland. We’re small and we don’t have enough competitive teams. So you have to support less people but in a better way. “The other problem is we all have to work to get our money and we all have families and it’s not so easy to just come over like the Chinese do and spend three months training and practising and getting paid for it. I would do it right away if someone pays me the money.� Ulsrud’s philosophy is simple. To be the best you have to play the best. “We have to be able to play these teams on the

good ice,� he says. “Playing on the best ice you can play on against the best teams you can play. “I remember the first time we came over we were 0-and-5 in Winnipeg. The last Slam before the Worlds this year we qualified for the playoffs. It just proves it helps. “You just have to do that. Get used to your opponents, making every shot, figure out that if he does this, I do that. When you play Kevin Martin, he goes there, I go there. You learn what the best are like and what the best will do. “If we win some money it’s an extra bonus but the main aim is getting the practice for the Worlds and the Olympics. That’s our main goal. “We have to give credit to the Norwegian Olympic Committee this year. They provided us with the funding to travel to Canada. We had a meeting with them and told them, ‘Hey guys, we need money, we need to go over and play those crazy Canadians on all that good ice. “The committee wants medals so we make a deal with them. We go to Canada and play in all these tournaments and we give them medals in return.� Ulsrud has flown to Canada four times this long winter. “We played two Slams, the Continental Cup and now the Worlds. That’s the most we’ve ever played here. We managed to win our Europe tour, too, so this season it would be perfect to crown it off with a gold medal, or at least a medal here.� The Norwegian skip claims to be a far more composed shotmaker as a result of playing abroad. “Every time you play here in Canada it goes down to last rock,� he says. “So after a while you don’t get so nervous, you know? And you make more last rocks.�

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009 13

STANDINGS Canada (Martin) Norway (Ulsrud) USA (Shuster) Denmark (Schmidt) France (Dufour) Germany (Kapp) Scotland (Murdoch) SUI (Stoeckli) China (Wang) Czech Rep. (Snitil) Japan (Morozumi) Finland (Kiiskinen)

W 7 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 2 1

L 0 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 5 5 5 6

DRAW SCHEDULE TODAY

LINESCORES TUESDAY DRAW 9 10 a.m. Canada (Martin) 202 020 2xx x — 8 SUI (Stoeckli) 010 101 0xx x — 3 S P % S P % CAN 56 206 92 SUI 56 169 75 China (Wang) Scotland (Murdoch) S P CHN 80 278

300 100 302 x — 9 012 002 020 x — 7 % S P % 87 SCO 79 265 84

Japan (Morozumi) 000 100 xxx x — 1 USA (Shuster) 212 004 xxx x — 9 S P % S P % JPN 48 137 71 USA 48 179 93 France (Dufour) 002 001 020 0 — 5 Germany (Kapp) 000 200 202 1 — 7 S P % S P % FRA 79 255 81 GER 80 285 89

DRAW 10 3 p.m. USA (Shuster) Denmark (Schmidt) S P USA 80 225

100 010 202 0 — 6 021 002 020 2 — 9 % S P % 70 DEN 80 254 79

Germany (Kapp) 023 101 10x x — 8 Finland (Kiiskinen) 100 010 02x x — 4 S P % S P % GER 66 204 77 FIN 67 205 76

SUI (Stoeckli) 100 100 000 1 — 3 Norway (Ulsrud) 001 000 001 0 — 2 S P % S P % SUI 79 283 90 NOR 79 273 86 Scotland (Murdoch) Czech Rerp. (Snitil) S P SCO 80 285

020 100 001 0 — 4 101 001 010 1 — 5 % S P % 89 CZE 80 250 78

DRAW 11 7:30 p.m. Finland (Kiiskinen) 010 001 xxx x — 2 France (Dufour) 100 340 xxx x — 8 S P % S P % FIN 48 136 71 FRA 46 147 80

Switzerlandʼs Simon Strubin (left) and Jan Hauser work up a sweat. Czech Rep. (Snitil) 110 010 0xx x — 3 China (Wang) 001 401 3xx x — 9 S P % S P % CZE 56 150 67 CHN 56 171 76 Denmark (Schmidt) Japan (Morozumi) S P DEN 72 250

011 301 011 x — 8 000 030 100 x — 4 % S P % 87 JPN 72 246 85

Norway (Ulsrud) 010 100 xxx x — 2 Canada (Martin) 302 004 xxx x — 9 S P % S P % NOR 48 148 77 CAN 48 178 93

SHOOTING PERCENTAGES (CUMULATIVE) Skip Third Second Lead TEAM

CAN

SCO

FIN

CZE

SUI

NOR

JPN

86 87 88 88 88

79 88 84 83 84

66 75 76 83 75

71 69 75 81 74

77 70 78 86 78

78 80 80 87 81

69 80 79 81 77

GER CHN 74 79 80 88 80

65 75 81 84 79

FRA

DEN

USA

71 79 78 81 77

77 74 82 77 77

73 77 78 81 77

Draw 12 10 a.m. A — CZE vs. JPN B — NOR vs. FRA C — FIN vs. CAN D — DEN vs. CHN Draw 13 3 p.m. A — CHN vs. GER B — CAN vs. USA C — FRA vs. SCO D — JPN vs. SUI Draw 14 7:30 p.m. A — SCO vs. NOR B — SUI vs. CZE C — GER vs. DEN D — USA vs. FIN THURSDAY Draw 15 10 a.m. A — DEN vs. CAN B — FIN vs. CHN C — NOR vs. JPN D — CZE vs. FRA Draw 16 3 p.m. A — SUI vs. FRA B — SCO vs. DEN C — USA vs. CZE D — GER vs. NOR Draw 17 7: 30 p.m. A — FRA vs. USA B — JPN vs. GER C — SHN vs. SUI D — CAN vs. SCO


Wednesday, April 8, 2009 14

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009 15

Aussie skip decries blown opportunity in Moncton The Eye Opener

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n the cusp of being dumped from the Olympic Games after failing to qualify for this week’s Ford Worlds, 11time Australian skip Hugh Millikin says missing a shot at playing in the Moncton Ford Worlds is “killing me more than you can imagine�. Millikin, Australia’s only national coach who apppeared in seven straight Worlds from 1991 to 1998, then returned for four straight from 2005 through 2008, told CanWest Media’s Allen Cameron on Monday via telephone he thought Australia’s chances of competing at Vancouver 2010 “are pretty slim�. Heading into this championship, Australia sat ninth in Olympic qualifying points but that position is locked. And No. 10 China, No. 11 Denmark and No. 12 Finland all are playing at the Coliseum, hoping for sufficient points to surpass idle Australia, if not idle No. 7 Sweden. Australia has 10.5 qualifying points and Sweden has 11. China has 9, Denmark 7.5 and Finland 6.5. The point allotment from this final qualifying competition: First, 14 points; second 12, third 10, fourth 9, fifth 8, sixth 7, seventh 6, eighth 5, ninth 4, 10th 3, 11th 2, 12th 1. “It’s killing me . . . from a whole bunch of different aspects, not the least of which is that it hurts our Olympic dreams but also because I think Moncton was going to put on a fantastic

              

Hugh Millikin is frustrated heĘźs not in Moncton. show. It would have been great to be there,â€? said the 51-year-old Millikin. “It’s very frustrating to not control your own destiny. All we had to do was win the Pacific championship and we were in. There wasn’t much else we had to do. So it’s a very ugly position to be in. I don’t like to cheer for anyone to lose because I know all these guys so I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place because you

really want your own interests to go forward.� Millikin was flabbergasted when told that Pacific champion China had lost its first four games., “Wow!� he exclaimed. “I’m stunned at that, absolutely stunned. They’re very good, and I think their expectations were that they were going to follow in the footsteps of the women’s team.� Millikin claimed the sport “would benefit hugely if China and Australia were to make the Olympics� “There’s never been a Southern Hemisphere team as close (to medal contention) as us at the Olympics (when it’s been a medal sport). New Zealand didn’t win a game in Torino. So if we could get there along with China, it would be great. “But the real answer is that if you look at the growth of the sport and you had to choose between China and Australia, then I would suggest that the World Curling Federation would get a lot more mileage out of China being there at this time than Australia. “Of course, I do have a bit of a personal perspective on it. The Olympic committee here was just getting really enthusiastic about curling, and I think they saw that if we were to qualify, they would really push hard for a dedicated facility in Australia. “If we don’t go, it basically sets us back four to 10 years in curling’s growth in Australia.� Fact is, though, curling hasn’t enjoyed much growth since Millikin first appeared on the international scene in 1992. His has been, in effect, Australia’s only curling team.

     

                    

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009 16

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Eye Opener Day 5 Edition