Manitoba curling scene mourns popular two-time champion Dave Elias

Dave Elias skipped a team in the Safeway Championship just last February. He died of liver cancer...

Dave Elias skipped a team in the Safeway Championship just last February. He died of liver cancer on Wednesday.

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:49 PM ET

WINNIPEG - The local curling world was in a state of shock after learning that two-time Manitoba champion Dave Elias was suddenly taken away from it.

Elias died early Wednesday due to liver cancer.

Elias had been given "a few months to live," last month but wanted to keep it quiet, his close friend and teammate, Chris Suchy, said.

"Last week, he started to deteriorate pretty quickly," Suchy said. "It's quite tragic for a guy only 43 years old.

"Of course, everyone's shocked because no one knew what was happening because he didn't want anyone to know. But I didn't think it would happen this quickly. He was one of the best and a pretty damn good curler, too."

Elias won the 2002 Manitoba title playing second for Mark Lukowich — with Suchy at third — and the 2005 provincial championship at third for Randy Dutiaume.

"I'll miss his friendship and his laughter," Suchy said, his voice cracking with emotion. "Everybody liked him. He was a fiery competitor who left it


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