Every adventure is a story!
Every winter each curler writes a new story by curling out in the cold environment we call home. Winter can be bright sunny days or dark cold nights with wind howling down from the north. We come together to play the great game of curling with fun and ready for adventure. No experience is the same but the camaraderie more than makes up for it.
Here are a few stories submitted in 2021 over the years. Do you have a Ironman Curling story you would like share? Email your story to media@IronmanCurling.com today.
Negative Ice – submitted by Valerie Bergeron
The games that year were being played on the Assiniboine River. Our team was playing in a game on a sheet of ice that was an “end” sheet. It was our sheet and then the riverbank!! The two teams playing in the game were evenly matched. The sheets of ice were made across the full width of the waterway. When the ice on the river froze that year, it was “majorly” tilted toward the riverbank. Our game of course was a 6-end game. We shook hands and wished each other a “good game”. Little did we all realize that all of us….all 8 players had a bigger opponent that year! THAT RIVER!! We were 2 teams….8 players and as the game progressed, NOT ONE of us could get a rock in the house!! The rocks would travel down the sheet of ice and reach a point on the ice where the “tilt” started and every single rock headed into the snowbank. The score stood at 0 – 0 and we were all getting pretty frustrated!! Down the ice and into the snowbank!!! GEEZE!!! Our skip stood his ground….You could see that he was trying to figure out what we were going to have to do to just get a rock in the house!! He walked up to us, his teammates, and said, ” Come here, you guys! I think I got it! Don’t say a word! Just do what I say….I am going to stand on the sheet NEXT to ours. I am going to put my broom down and I want you to aim at my broom. BUT, I WANT YOU TO THROW THE OPPOSITE TURN!!….NO!!….DON’T SAY A WORD!! JUST THROW THE OPPOSITE TURN!!” We did not dare question his “wisdom” and did what he said! The rocks our players threw traveled down the sheet of ice and instead of veering off into the “ditch” came to rest in the house, close to the button!! Our skip had figured it out!! We got rocks in the house and WON the Game!! What a true IRONMAN game that was….true to form, we were playing against another team, but we had to beat the ICE to win!!!
Two Parts – submitted by Luanne Hagyard
One of my favorite Ironman Curling stories is the time one of my teammates hurled the rock down the ice with such style that the rock handle flew right of the rock and a piece of it landed on the button! Does that still count for a full point?! 😂
Also the many times we’ve all seen the rocks bump over ridges to change its path or ride a line down the side and then walk sideways to the center of the rings. Who doesn’t love outdoor curling?!
Family of Curlers – Valerie Bergeron
Curing in the Ironman has always been a fun time for the members of our team. My father came out and watched us one year and being an avid curler said he would love to join us. So the next year…ROGER joined us on the ice! He was 83….yes 83 years old, dressed in a big Winter parka and out he came to become one of the OLDEST Ironman curlers! He loved curling in the Ironman….loved how we all had to take on the challenge of curling outdoors and curling on the RIVER ICE!! I actually think it brought him back to his younger years. He loved curling and would make a curling rink for us, his children in the back yard each Winter. He even made the curling rocks by getting us to eat toast with LOTS of jam on it so that the can would get emptied and he could turn it into a curling rock! A little cement and a handle and there were the rocks!! He flooded the garden in the back yard, painted the rings and set about to teach us….his children about the game he loved!!
So many years later, we curled together at the Fort Garry Curling Club and then we curled in the IRONMAN!!! Memories from curling in the Ironman with him are sweet and cherished. We braved the cold weather and headed out to have a game against worthy opponents each year! And of course, our biggest opponent…..the Mighty River!!!
Sign of Things to Come – submitted by Valerie Bergeron
Our first game was scheduled for Friday evening, the first day. We decided to travel together to the Forks as we were not sure about how hard it would be to get parking. One of our team members picked us up and as we traveled down St. Mary’s towards the Forks, it was just at the beginning of dusk. I was sitting in the back seat of the car beside the window looking out at the evening sky while we chatted about the curling and fun we always have! From my spot in the back seat, I glanced out the window and saw it!! I told my team members that we had a good omen in the sky….It was going to be a good night. There, in the evening sky, was a cloud….It was a cloud that was in the perfect shape of a curling rock….HANDLE AND ALL!! It was going to be a good weekend of curling!!
The picture I captured is above!!
Down River – submitted by Dean Jones
One year when we were still in the shelter of the Forks Port on the Assiniboine, we had a Gator for our use over the weekend. In-between adding firewood to the fire pits and various other things, Rod talked me into going for a ride down the river trail located on the Red River. As we traveled south along the river enjoying the ride and scenery, we also enjoyed seeing the many warmup shelters along the way. We probably went several kilometers because we would see another shelter further down the path and want to also check it out. Eventually we decided it was time to head back, but as soon as we turned the Gator around we felt the cold North wind blowing in our faces. We were not really dressed properly for this, and as we started driving the wind was even stronger and colder. Now we were freezing! We stopped at a shelter on the way, but with no fire burning it was a waste of time so we jumped back in the Gator and kept going, freezing and now laughing uncontrollably at the stupidity of our situation as the tears literally froze to our face. We were very thankful to finally get back to our burning fire pits and warm up, still laughing at each other and ourselves.
Shirts & Skins – Submitted by Michael Thompson
Do you think its cold outside? This is our traditional weekend, tonight the last draw would be at 9:00 pm. Can you imagine going outside right now to curl for an hour at minus 21 degrees Celsius or -33 with the wind chill?
20th Anniversary Story – Back in the early years we curled late in to the Friday night. Curl go drink inside and go back out and curl again. In those early days we only had the lights from the port at the Forks to light the games. It was as cold as it was tonight so cold it froze you to the bone. Frost on your eyelashes and beards. Kevin Wiebe and Eric Dawson were on the same curling team and they challenged the other team as was their nature too. If you have ever played on Eric’s team or against him you soon realize that nothing is plain. The guys challenged the other team to a shirts and skins game. Yes you heard that right, in the end both teams stripped off their jackets and shirts to the skin. There are no pictures of that moment. You could see the steam coming off their bodies in the dark. You wouldn’t guess it but sweater and jackets hid a lot of the girth of Caucasian prairie boys. My eyes and memory will unfortunately never forget. Kevin was a fun and always ready for adventures, he will be missed.