High-end curling nothing new for deaf woman

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

MORRIS -- Brenda Davidson is carrying a torch for deaf curlers here this week.

The lead for Thompson's Denise Podolski is a two-time national Deaf Women's Curling champion and a two-time Canadian Mixed Deaf champ. But she is competing at this week's Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the first time.

"I just feel like one of the curlers," said Davidson, who reads lips and can hear in quiet settings. "There's lots of deaf curlers and they're all very good, too."

Davidson, 30, also pointed out that she is not the first deaf woman to compete at the women's provincials as two deaf women participated in the 1980's.

"It's nice to be here and make people aware that there are a lot of deaf curlers, that we're excelling and getting better," she said, adding that the skip and third motion when they want her to sweep because she cannot hear their screams.

Curling will be a demonstration sport at this year's Deaf Olympics. Davidson skipped a team of three Winnipeg women to a second-place finish at last year's Deaf Olympic trials. Davidson will also be competing in the Mixed part of the Canadian Deaf Curling Championships, which will be held at the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club in March.

HAUNTED: St. Vital skip Kristy Jenion readily admits that she still has nightmares about losing her second straight provincial final last year.

"After the first year, it didn't bother me but after the second one, it haunts me," she said after nipping Terry Ursel of Plumas 8-7 to improve to 2-0. "It's more disappointing to get there, then to not give our A game, and maybe a C game. It was definitely driving factor (this year)."

FIRST ACTION: Allison Nimik, the second for Fort Rouge's Shauna Streich, is playing in her first women's provincial championship right out of juniors.

"That was a good start, too," the former junior women's provincial champ said after Streich clipped Bowsman's Linda Stewart 5-3. "And I just love this environment, curling on arena ice with people watching."

BITER: Defending champion Janet Harvey has parted ways with coach Don Duguid and declined comment when asked why. Harvey's third, Jill Thurston -- Duguid's stepdaughter -- said neither side was upset with the other.


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