February 23, 2006
Gushue's semifinal victory one for the aged
ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

PINEROLO, Italy -- Minutes after clinching Newfoundland's second winter Olympics medal ever, Russ Howard stood in the press area with the belief he was bound for the record books.

"Someone just told me I'm the oldest athlete ever to win a medal," beamed the

50-year-old second, who was quickly informed Canadian curler Paul Savage was a few hundred days older when he won silver as a spare in Salt Lake City.

"Yeah but he was a non-positional player."

After beating Pete Fenson's U.S. rink 11-5 to advance to tomorrow's gold-medal match against Finland, the smiles all around for Brad Gushue's rink got even bigger when the digs started.

"We could give him the oldest -- he acts a little older than 50," laughed Gushue, the

25-year-old fourth, who brought the curling legend on board to throw second and call shots.

"Actually, I'm just joking. He's been throwing paper airplanes off the side of the building with the other guys, so he doesn't act 50, that's for sure."

Thanks to Gushue's motley crew, the biggest sporting celebration in Newfoundland history kicked off yesterday when the young (and old) stars capped off a five-ender in the ninth to start the handshakes and party.

"I bet they're doing backflips -- the Rock is definitely going crazy now," said third Mark Nichols, who curled 94% in a match that featured brilliant shotmaking from both rinks.

"I don't know what's going to happen (tomorrow) -- that's at 1 p.m. in the afternoon their time. A lot of sick days will be taken."

Scoring two in each of the first three ends they held the hammer, Canada led 6-3 before Fenson scored a deuce in the eighth to bring the Americans within one.

It all led up to Gushue's dramatic takeout for five in the ninth to end the evening early.