A Cup full of curling tales

JOE PAVIA -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

CURLING CELEBS: A few curling celebrities wandered the halls of both curling clubs at various times during the event. Guy Hemmings took in some action on Saturday night. TSN's Ray Turnbull served as coach for Team Kelley Law. Icemaker Shorty Jenkins attended to cheer on his niece, Jo-Ann Rizzo.

WEB PEEKS: The Canada Cup women's qualifier here and the men's event in Edmonton both experienced phenomenal, unique website visits. By the Monday morning games, the Ottawa bonspiel site had 110,000 hits, while the men recorded 108,000 hits.

THANKS: Women's rinks tend to go out of their way to show appreciation to the host volunteers. Cards of thanks, boxes of chocolates and seasonal goodies were profuse. A typical sentiment appeared in the Team Kelly Scott card: "Thank you so much to your great crew ... Special thanks for the little tour of Ottawa last night."

BAD AIR: At an airport funding a new terminal through user fees, the host committee people responsible for meeting teams found the lack of service and inaction on the part of some airport authority staff disconcerting. Maybe the airport should help events, not hinder them.

OLYMPIAN EFFORT: After their semi-final extra end loss, Shannon Kleibrink's rink remained on the ice and replayed the entire last end. Not only did they discuss alternate shots, they actually brought out the red rocks they threw against and positioned them exactly the way they set up during the game.

STRAUSS CANADA CUP: After this past weekend, the fields for March's Strauss Canada Cup are now set. Men: Kevin Martin, Jean-Michel Menard, Randy Ferbey, John Base, Jeff Stoughton, Glenn Howard, Kerry Burtnyk, Pat Simmons, Kevin Koe and Mark Johnson. Women: Scott, Kleibrink, Cathy King, Jennifer Jones, Karen Porritt, Cheryl Bernard, Sherry Anderson, Stefanie Lawton, Crystal Webster and Sherry Middaugh. The winners in Kamloops, B.C., get Olympic trials berths.

EUROPEAN CURLING: There were some surprises in the recently completed European championships in Basel. The 20-year-old Russian skip, Ludmila Privivkova, led her rink to victory on the women's side. They beat Diana Gaspari and her Italian teammates. Switzerland's Andreas Schwaller defeated Scotland's David Murdoch 7-6 on the men's side.

BASEL FAULTY? The World Curling Federation has endorsed and will sanction a world mixed doubles championship beginning in 2008. "The delivery of a formal World Curling Championship for mixed doubles competition will best serve the membership's keen interest in advancing curling's impact on the Olympic Winter Games," WCF president Les Harrison said in a release. The IOC wants to include more women's sports in the Winter Games, but recently turned down the WCF's mixed doubles proposal because no mixed doubles championship yet exists. It still needs to be formalized. So the next time you practise with someone of the opposite gender, think about how you might look standing on a podium.


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