Elmira curler part of Ontario team that took silver at nationals
THIS CLOSE TO WINNING the gold medal, Sue Martin of the Elmira Curling Club, along with the rest of Team Ontario, took home silver at the 2017 Hy-Grade Steel Roofing Canadian Masters Curling Championships in Guelph last week.
Martin, and her team, skip Dale Curtis from St. Thomas, third Rosemary Gowman and second Brenda Clark from Galt Curling Club, had never been to nationals before, and ended up facing off against champions Team Saskatchewan in their final game of the week.
After some initial disappointment in the loss, the women reflected on how well they had done in their debut showing. They had beaten Team Saskatchewan in the round robin earlier in the week.
“Losing the final, that was a huge disappointment for our team because we had a great week. But winning a silver medal in our first appearance at this national event is definitely something that we are proud of. Even though there was that initial disappointment, we are still proud of our accomplishments,” she said.
Their final game didn’t go their way, however.
“Saskatchewan was hot and we weren’t. They dominated the whole game. They say curling is a game of inches, and I have to say, Saskatchewan was always on the right side of the inch. We struggled a bit,” said Martin. “It is not good to have your off-game in the final, but you never know how it is going to turn out.”
The team did well in the round robin, winning all but two games, against Team British Columbia and Team Manitoba.
“We were up and down in the round robin, even though we won a number of games, I can’t say we played our very best there. As people say, the W is what counts. In the semifinals, we played against B.C.,” said Martin.“We only had two losses in the round robin and that was one of them. We had just played them as our last game in the round robin, so we met them again right away in the semifinal. Again, it was a very close game. It was back and forth, and they actually went on to win the bronze medal after playing against Manitoba, who was our other loss.”
Outside of hitting the rinks, Martin says the tournament itself was a great experience.
“You know, with curling, it is a sport where you sit down with a team afterwards and you do social-
ize, talking about them, where they came from and a lot of other sports don’t have that same kind of social atmosphere. We had a lot of time to visit with people from across Canada, learn about their cities, where they came from and what competition they had to face to get to nationals,” she said. “We met some wonderful people through this experience though. Guelph Curling Club put on a fabulous competition. They were able to do that through the sponsors. They had great sponsors. They had about 150 volunteers working at the event all week, that is why they were able to put on such a great event. Everyone was just amazed.”
Martin says the team would love to defend their silver medal at next year’s national contest, being held in B.C., or even to go for the gold, but competition is high to represent Ontario in the Masters category.
“As you are there and you are talking to the other curlers from across Canada, to get there from Ontario is the hardest. We have more teams entered in Ontario than any other province or territory,” she said. “For example, this year, there were 33 teams that started competition in Ontario. The skill level is high, as well. We would love to win that again and go back to nationals, meeting the wonderful women that we curled with from across Canada, but we know it isn’t going to be easy to do.”
Sue Martin with her silver medal from the national curling championships held last week in Guelph.