Pat Ryan heading back to Alberta

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:13 AM ET

One of curling's legendary names is moving back to Alberta.

Pat Ryan has been hired by a collaboration of seven Alberta health regions (other than the big-city regions) to install a patient information system. That would allow health records to be accessed by any health professional in the areas.

Ryan is moving to Red Deer Monday from Kelowna, where he set up a similar system for the B.C. Interior Health Authority.

Ryan, who turns 50 in two weeks, is still at the top of his curling game. His rink of Jim Cotter, Kevin McKenzie and Rick Sawatsky qualified for December's Olympic Trials with their win at the Canada Cup West at the Saville Centre last year.

"We're all on course for a good season," said Ryan from Kelowna, where he wraps up his current job tomorrow.

"We have our sights set high. We'll get ready for the Trials and see what happens.

"The difference is I'm not going into the B.C. playdowns."

Edmonton-based Ryan's Express won the 1988 and 1989 Briers and went on to win the 1989 world title. Ryan added another world title in 1994 as third for Rick Folk out of Kelowna.

Ryan has a bit of a mischievous streak and has Canadian Curling Hall of Fame credentials if he wants to put together a competitive team that would have other Alberta rinks shaking in their boots.

"I could say I plan to play in the Alberta playdowns in the paper and get a few people worked up, but I don't think so," said Ryan. "This will be another Pat Ryan retirement story.

"Look at my career. It's had its highs and lows. I've won everything and I've lost everything."

In a similar script to his former third, Randy Ferbey, representing Canada at the Olympics would be a perfect way to end their careers.

"Personally, this was the only thing I haven't won and winning an Olympic gold would be a good way to wrap up my career," said Ryan.

"Playing in Muskrat Hole, Saskatchewan, in the middle of January is a little lower on my priority list now. I think I need to do other things with my life."

But, he left the door open just a bit.

"Not this year," he said about a possible return to the game.

"I can't say for sure in future years. I'm saying I'm not planning to do any World Curling Tour events or zone playdowns.

"I've had a very, very long career and I didn't think I'd still be playing at this point of my life."


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