100 Mile house Prepresents B.C. in Blind Curilng Nationals
100 Mile House Represents B.C. in Blind Curling Nationals
The West Coast Blind Curling Association provincial play-down, held in January 2013 at the Prince George Golf and Curling Club, saw the 100 Mile House team dominate even though three of its members took up the sport just three years prior. The team -- formed by skip Jim Vinson, third Lori Fry, second Marilyn Vinson, lead Katelyn Vanderburgh and guide Joey Seiler -- won all three of its games. By claiming the title, the 100 Mile House crew earned the right to represent B.C. at the 2014 nationals in Ottawa.
The Nationals, sponsored by the Canadian Council of the Blind, took place February 1 to 8th, in the Ottawa Curling Club, the oldest curling rink in Canada. National Competition rules vary slightly from the Western play-downs in that the curler throwing lead rocks must be totally blind and the sweeper, legally blind. Jim’s team chose lead Billy Mah (Kelowna) and Rob Camozzi sweeper (Vancouver) to join them in Ottawa. Interestingly, the B.C. team had the lowest percentage of individual vision of any of their seven competitors.
The team has an on-ice sighted guide Nick Goshorn, who verbally conveys the shot the skip is calling and places his broom in line with the skip’s broom as a target closer to the thrower. The guide also verbally shares the result of the thrower’s rock so that he/she can adjust the weight and line of their next rock.
The 100 Mile team played 7 games over 3.5 days. Five of the seven games showed a one point final score difference! Two of the games, one against last year’s winner Team Canada, went to 9th ends. All provided extreme ‘nail-biting’ for the coaches and spectators in the viewing area!
The 100 Mile team received the highest compliments from other teams and coaches not only for successful shots but also for extremely positive energy!
Provincial teams joined each other during meals so had a chance to re-acquaint with old friends and make new ones. The Lions Club, Cumberland provided transportation to and from the airport as well as an evening of entertainment. The closing awards ceremony and banquet honored the winning teams: Canada placed 1st for the second year in a row, Ontario was second and Alberta placed third.
Two ‘all-star’ teams were defined based on individual performances. Lori Fry was named as ‘all-star 3rd’, Jim Vinson as ‘all-star sweeper’ (even though he skipped the games, he met his sweepers at the hog line and swept as needed, demonstrating huge commitment to the success of the team but also enviable physical energy). Sharon Goshorn was named ‘all-star coach’.
The closing ceremony culminated with a live band consisting of three powerful singers, two guitarists and a drummer. The saying “dance like no one is watching” summarized the wild abandon with which the whole group embraced the evening. Team Vinson is extremely proud to have represented BC at the national level.
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