Watching big brother win gold

JIM BENDER, STAFF REPORTER

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- Shelley Nichols was supposed to be competing in the Ford Hot Shots contest, but she was paying more attention to the TV screen on the scoreboard above the curling ice at the John Labatt Centre yesterday.

That's where her older brother, Mark, was helping Brad Gushue win Canada's first Olympic gold medal in men's curling. She had to wipe tears from her eyes before she could throw and broke down again afterward.

"Words cannot describe it," said Shelley, the third for Newfoundland's Heather Strong at this week's Scott Tournament of Hearts. "I couldn't throw. I threw an open draw through the house. I was looking at the screen."

Nichols, 23, had chosen to stick with her team here instead of going to Turin to cheer on her brother, who threw third stones for Gushue.

"I'm torn because I wanted to be there, too," she admitted. "When we were little, he always said, 'Shelley, I'm going to the Olympics,' and I'm like, 'Yes, b'y, go on with ya, whatever.'

"I've got to get there (Olympics). I've got to upstage him somehow. I don't know how I'm going to do it, it's so hard."

But she was simply thrilled for her big brother.

"I couldn't stop crying," Nichols said. "It's so big for him, for the team, for the curling club, for the province of Newfoundland and for the sport of curling and for Canada. It's huge. It's so important for the growth of the sport."


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