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Curling Legends Podcast

A weekly conversation with the players and storytellers who shaped Curling in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.
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Now displaying: December, 2016

A weekly conversation with the players and storytellers of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Subscribe to the Curling Legends Podcast email list to receive updates during the curling season and be reminded when new shows are released.

You can also listen on iTunes or Stitcher or use other podcast apps such as Downcast or Pocket Casts on your mobile phone. You can also listen on GooglePlay, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio.

If you are a curler from years ago and want to share a story from your era, please email me at contact@curlinglegends.ca

Dec 29, 2016

In Part 2 of my conversation with Warren Hansen, we'll dive deep into the Winter Olympics.  Warren will share how curling came to be a demonstration sport in 1988 and the efforts involved to secure status as a full medal event in 1998.  You might be surprised to hear how it was nearly dropped, because of a Canadian, and may have been saved by a Japanese billionaire.  Warren will also address the controversy surrounding the Curling Trials for those Calgary Olympics and the clash with Ed Werenich.  He'll return to the 1974 Silver Broom and explain how it shaped his future.   Warren shares the challenges of putting a Brier in an NHL arena, creation of the Continental Cup and Mixed Doubles, the "Brier Boycott" era and his thoughts on the modern game.

Next Episode: Ed Lukowich

Dec 26, 2016
Warren Hansen loves curling.  Growing up in Namao, Alberta, it was a passion rivaled only by football.  Warren played and coached for several years with the Edmonton Huskies of the Canadian Junior Football league, but eventually curling took centre stage.  It became more than just a seasonal endeavour as a player, it became a path for his life's purpose.  From Brier winner with Hector Gervais, to coaching, event management, media relations and Olympic training and development, Warren has covered it all.  Frustration with his experience at the 1974 World's along with a constant rejection of new ideas (such as pre-game practice, uniforms and officiating) drove him to help transform an eccentric winter pastime into an Olympic medal sport that could be respected and admired by a wider audience. 
 
In Part 1, Warren shares his thoughts on Hector Gervais and the circumstances that moved him from a player to a builder.  He'll explain why, in the early days of teaching, flat foot was promoted over the tuck slide.  He'll provide an insiders view into the 1980 Labatt Brier and the transition from its original sponsor, the Macdonald Tobacco Company.
 
For more information on Warren Hansen,  "The Brier" by Bob Weeks is essential, along with  Jean Sonmor's "Burned by the Rock".  Warren authored his own book, "Curling: The History, The Players, The Game" in 1999.   You can also check out Warren's interview with Gerry Geurts from a few years back.
Dec 19, 2016

Errol Klinck, better known as "Colonel", started curling in Regina with his father.  His grandfather, Ozzie Barkwell, skipped the team representing Western Canada at the first Brier, held in Toronto in 1927.  After moving to Winnipeg, Colonel landed a sparing role, filling in for Bryan Wood and helping the Duguid rink capture the Birks Trophy (Main Event) in the 1971 MCA Bonspiel.  Errol would skip his own team to the same title in 1974, winning a berth into the provincial Tankard and the Calcutta at the Assiniboine Memorial.  The Klinck rink of 1985 had been together a few years, mostly competing in the A Group mens league at the Assiniboine.  After escaping club playdowns, and managing to win a city zone berth, they were heading to the provincial Tankard in Dauphin, seeded last out of 32 teams in the double-knockout event.  Surprising everyone (including themselves), they began the Saturday night A-Side final as the only undefeated team, with just two wins remaining to capture four Purple Hearts and a trip to the Brier.

Errol shares memories of that Tankard, grandpa Ozzie, and curling in Regina and Winnipeg.  He talks about the Eaton Curling Club, reading ice at the Assiniboine, and reminisces on the teams he battled through the years.

For more stories of Winnipeg curling, check out Sean Grassie's "King of the Rings" and "Curling Capital: Winnipeg and the Roarin' Game, 1876 to 1988" by Morris Mott and John Allardyce.

Next Week: Warren Hansen

Dec 12, 2016

Neil Houston is now an Event Manager for Curling Canada.  He has been instrumental in bringing the Brier to large NHL arenas and showcasing curling at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.  Over forty years ago, he teamed with second Glen Jackson, lead Kelly Stearne and skip Paul Gowsell to form perhaps the greatest junior team in history.  The Gowsell squad stormed through the Canadian and World Juniors, while combating mens teams on the cashpiel circuit...and winning.  To the older crew cut players of that era, the strange pants, long hair and beards were a small annoyance compared to their use of push brooms rather than corn.

Neil shares stories of the Gowsell rink and helps separate legend from fact.  He also talks about his time on the Lukowich rink and how "Fast" Eddy went from playing second to skipping them to a Brier, Worlds and Olympic medal.  We'll hear about 1997 when the CCA gambled by putting a Brier in the Calgary Saddledome, and contemplate the death of the hair broom in competitive curling.

Video from the 1976 World Junior Championships can be found at The Curling History Blog.  You can read about the Gowsell and Lukowich rinks in Jean Sonmor's "Burned by the Rock" and "The Brier" by Bob Weeks. 

Next Week: Errol "Colonel" Klinck

Dec 5, 2016

Ernie Richardson still lives in Saskatchewan, a province he represented at the Brier 5 times.  In 1959, Ernie and his family rink of brother Garnet "Sam" Richardson and cousins Arnold and Wes Richardson won their first Canadian Championship.  They were swiftly flown overseas to compete as Team Canada in the first ever World Championship (originally known as the Scotch Cup) against Willie Young of Scotland.  The Richardsons repeated as Brier champions in 1960 and '62.  Wes departed due to back troubles in 1963, but with Mel Perry as his replacement, they captured a fourth Brier and Scotch Cup.  In the 1964 Brier they fell 1 game short in the standings to winner Lyall Dagg from British Columbia.

Ernie shares stories from his early days and the formation of the famous Richardson Rink, to their Brier triumphs and International experiences, including the startled reception to a blank end during the first Scotch Cup .  We'll hear about Ernie meeting John Wayne, his battles with Hector Gervais and learn how to succeed in a Calcutta (don't enter).

For more information on Ernie "The King" Richardson, check out "The Stone Age" by Vera Pezer, "The Brier" by Bob Weeks, and "Tales of a Curling Hack" by Doug Maxwell.  There are also a number of older books Ernie helped author, including "Curling, an Authoritative Handbook of Techniques & Strategy of the Ancient Game" with Joyce McKee and Doug Maxwell and  "Curling: Techniques and Strategy" with Mark Mulvoy.

You can watch coverage from the 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1964 Brier on YouTube.  Also on YouTube, Ernie appears as a contestant on "To Tell The Truth" and the Richardsons join Ron Northcott on stage during the World Mens Curling Championship in 2009 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4).
 
You can also visit the Curling Richardsons web page, where you can order a copy of "Say It Again Sam" by Arnie Tiefenbach or if you're near Regina, drop by Richardson Lighting to say hello.
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