Curl­ing coach’s health cri­sis hits at tough time

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - TED WY­MAN [email protected]­

Caleb Flaxey is com­pletely gut­ted.

It has been an aw­ful week for the two teams he is coach­ing in the Cana­dian Olympic curl­ing tri­als and he some­how feels re­spon­si­ble.

“I un­der­stand it was out of my con­trol, it was a health thing, but for it to hap­pen dur­ing this week, I’m truly dev­as­tated, heart­bro­ken to have put both teams in that sit­u­a­tion.”

Flaxey ar­rived at the Olympic tri­als Nov. 30 to work as coach for both his wife Al­li­son’s team and the Brad Ja­cobs team.

The 34-year-old was feel­ing good de­spite be­ing just a few weeks re­moved from hipreplace­ment surgery.

He has had Legg-Calve-Perthes dis­ease, a de­gen­er­a­tive hip dis­or­der, since he was a child. His hip be­came so arthritic he needed surgery.

On Fri­day, he no­ticed his in­ci­sion, which had been com­pletely sealed, was open­ing up again. He called his sur­geon, who sus­pected a pos­si­ble in­fec­tion and told Flaxey to get back to the North York Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Toronto as quickly as pos­si­ble.

He flew out Sun­day and later that day was in surgery again, hav­ing the parts from the orig­i­nal hip re­place­ment re­placed.

He’s deal­ing with pain, walk­ing at about 60 per cent and car­ry­ing a heavy load. He is ter­ri­bly up­set about the tim­ing of the sit­u­a­tion, which left his wife with more on her mind than she needed dur­ing the big­gest event of her curl­ing life.

Al­li­son’s team is 0-7, while things haven’t been much bet­ter with the Ja­cobs four­some, which was 2-4 head­ing into an evening draw game against Mike McEwen.

“I love both teams and for an event that hap­pens once ev­ery four years, for it to hap­pen right now, is so un­for­tu­nate,” Flaxey said.

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