Ambassador Pal

CHAD SCARSBROOK, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

Kevin Martin calls him a great friend and a great curler. The World Curling Tour simply calls him one of the sport's great ambassadors.

Pal Trulsen, the longtime Norway skip, is making his final curling appearance this weekend in Winnipeg as part of the BDO Classic Canadian Open at MTS Centre.

"We have been curling now for 30 years," the 44-year-old said after dropping an 8-2 decision to Ontario's Glenn Howard in the early draw yesterday.

"Everything has its time, and I think this is ours. My knees are bothering me a bit, and my family wants me to stay home more."

Trulsen, who's battled left knee problems for years, has had six surgeries, beginning with the first seven years ago.

"It's the cause of age I guess," he said. "We all get old."

OLYMPIC CHAMP

He'll also look forward to spending more time with his wife and two children -- Pia and Stine. And he'll give his father a bit of a break.

Trulsen works for his 76-year-old dad, who owns a small electrical insulation company back home.

"My father's getting very old, and he would like me to stay more at work," said Trulsen. "He has to be at work when I'm away."

An Olympic champion in 2002, a 1992 Games silver medallist and a competitor in numerous world juniors, world championships and many other big events during his illustrious career, Trulsen will be honoured by the WCT today as one of the sport's great promoters and leaders.

'A LITTLE JUICE'

Alberta's Kevin Martin fondly recalled sitting outside during an event in Bern, Switzerland, in the early '90s with Trulsen and "a little juice," laughing until the wee morning hours.

He said it was fitting Trulsen was receiving recognition.

"Trulsen could always compete day in and day out, be it at the worlds or be it at a Grand Slam or anywhere on the tour," said Martin. "I think he was the first European guy who was able to compete at that level in my mind.

"And for that he has to be recognized by the World Curling Tour because he's one of the best curlers in history."

Martin would know, of course.

After all, it was Trulsen who upset him at the Salt Lake City Games. But there's no resentment.

"I had the rock in my hand I believe," Martin said. "If you have last rock and it's yours to make, it's pretty tough to resent anybody, to be quite honest."

Trulsen doesn't remember much about that big game.

"I haven't even seen it," he admitted.

Not even to relive some Olympic glory?

"Well, I was there," he said with a laugh. "I had good seats."

Trulsen was actually considering retiring earlier this season but was convinced to make another appearance in Winnipeg, a city he's visited "every year the past six or seven years."

"We kind of felt like we know the place," he said. "We've been around to many of the curling clubs, and people are very friendly and welcoming, so that's why we are coming back to (the Grand Slam)."

He also has fond memories of the 2003 Skins Game in Gimli, where he finished second to Ontario's Wayne Middaugh and the world championship, that same year in Winnipeg, when he claimed a bronze medal.

Trulsen plans to do a bit of coaching for Norway's national team, and he says he'll be back to Winnipeg. Only as a spectator.

"I want to come over here and watch the Brier here next year," said Trulsen. "I've never been to a Brier."


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