Time out for dad

CON GRIWKOWSKY -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

There are times when curling has to take a back seat to life's realities.

That's the dilemma Dave Nedohin faced.

It took him little time to make his choice.

Nedohin decided it's more important to be at his father Neill's side than to help Randy Ferbey regain the Canada Cup title.

A two-year Canada Cup winning streak by the world champs ended last year when they lost the final to fellow Edmontonian Kevin Martin.

Neill Nedohin, 58, has been fighting cancer for the last 15 years. Later this month, he is scheduled for surgery - around the same time as the start of the Jan. 31 Canada Cup in Kamloops.

MOVED FROM WINNIPEG

About 18 months ago, Nedohin's dad and mom, Kris, moved from Winnipeg to Sherwood Park, five minutes from their son's home.

"They moved here to be closer to their grandchildren," said Nedohin. "Last year, my dad was our fifth at the Canada Cup. My parents have followed me all over - to Briers, to the Worlds. He coached (wife) Heather's team last year.

"Curling has been his full-time job."

Nedohin appreciates what his parents have done for him and now he's willing to sacrifice a weekend of curling to help his dad in his time of need.

"It's been an amazing arrangement for everybody," said Nedohin. "Halle, our oldest daughter (age three), has really enjoyed their company. For them, it's enjoying their time together and kidding around."

Having his parents so close has allowed one of Edmonton's royal curling couples to pursue their passion. Heather is a former world junior champ, threw third rocks for Cathy King's 1998 Scott champion and skipped Alberta's women's championship team in 2001.

"It's allowed us to commit our schedule to curling," said Nedohin. "We wouldn't be able to do it without them."

Other than the Olympic Trials, Nedohin and the Ferbey foursome have been one of the more consistent teams on the cashspiel trail.

They've earned $120,849 and are comfortably leading all money lists, including the World Curling Tour. They lost their world No. 1 ranking to Martin over the weekend, but will be tough to beat when they defend their title at next month's provincials at the Saville Centre.

"It's been a great year," said Nedohin. "Other than the Olympic Trials, we've been very consistent this season. Other than the trials, we haven't had a bad weekend at all."

PARK STEPS IN

Stepping in for Nedohin at Kamloops is Edmonton's Kevin Park, who recently qualified for the southerns out of Airdrie.

"He's one of the best natural shooters around," said Nedohin. "The team is fortunate he was available and are comfortable with him throwing last rocks."

Park helped Martin win the 1991 Brier and skipped a team at the 1997 Olympic Trials.

As far as the mission to regain the Canada Cup title goes ... everybody knows how intense the rivalry between the Ferbey and Martin team goes.

Park's desire to beat his former skip goes beyond that level. The team should be in good hands.

And Neill will be able to see how much he means to his son.


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