A tribute to Shorty
Norway’s Team Ulsrud made sure to pack the pink pants for trip to Cornwall
The Shorty started in style, Thomas Ulsrud and his team from Norway made sure of that.
The Ulsrud rink beat Sweden’s Niklas Edin 7-5 in one of two opening matches to start the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic at the Cornwall Curling Centre. They also won some fashion points, with those bright pink pants.
“A tribute to Shorty,” said Ulsrud, whose team is known for its colourful attire. “We’ve got like a hundred different pants, so of course we had to go with the pink.”
It was a favourite colour of the late Shorty Jenkins.
Tough assignment to start the event for Ulsrud, facing Edin — the silver medalist at this year’s world championships, and a two-time winner of the coveted title.
“We’re actually good friends, and we only live a few hours from each other,” said Ulsrud.
They had played four previous times, splitting the games. “So, I guess this puts us one ahead,” said Ulstrud, whose team is in Cornwall — and Canada — for a very brief time.
“We came here just for this,” said Ulsrud. “We decided we wanted to play the Shorty. We heard so much about the city, and the ice, we decided we had to come and play it.” So far so good then. “Anytime you can play Niklas Edin and win, that’s a good thing,” said Ulsrud.
It’s right back to Norway after the Shorty for the Ulsrud rink, which also consists of third Torger Nergaard, second Christoffer Svae and lead Haavard Vad Petersson.
Team Ulsrud is one of two entries from Norway at the Shorty — Steffen Walstad is the other.
A trip to Switzerland is up next for the Ulsrud rink.
“It’s Olympic season, so it’s a little busier than usual,” said Ulsrud.
He’s represented his country in two Olympics, winning a silver medal in 2010 in Vancouver. He’s hoping for a third trip.
“We don’t have playdowns or anything like that. They (national curling association) decide who goes and we’ve been told one team will go to the World Championships, the other to the Olympics,” said Ulsrud.
The Walstad rink would be “the other” and Ulsrud knows which event he’d rather attend.
“Olympics, by a mile,” he said. “Even if they play the World Championships in Vegas, I don’t care.”
The 2018 men’s World Curling Championships are indeed being held in Vegas, from March 31 to April 8.
“They can have Vegas, I’ll take the Olympics,” said Ulsrud, whose team has been together for 10 years.
This is the third year for the Shorty in Cornwall, after moving to the city following a long stint in Brockville.
There are 10 countries represented at the event, with teams from Canada, the United States, Switzerland, Sweden, China, Japan, Italy, Scotland, Norway and the Netherlands.
There are 24 men’s teams at the Shorty, and 16 women’s rinks. They’ll be competing for a total prize package of about $90,000, which includes $15,000 for the men’s winner and $10,000 for the women’s.
Competition continues all day Friday and Saturday, with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals on Sunday. The finals take place at 3 p.m.
Fans can also watch the action outside, from the World Financial Group tent. Cogeco will broadcast the action from sheet five throughout the event, showing it in the tent.
Lead Haavard Vad Petersson of Team Ulsrud from Norway makes the shot, during Shorty Jenkins action at the Cornwall Curling Centre on Thursday. At left is second Christoffer Svae, with third Torger Nergaard at right.