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Curling Legends Podcast

Sports & Recreation Podcasts

Conversations with the players and storytellers who shaped Curling from the 1940’s to the modern era.

Conversations with the players and storytellers who shaped Curling from the 1940’s to the modern era.




Conversations with the players and storytellers who shaped Curling from the 1940’s to the modern era.








Episode 68 - Lindsay Sparkes

Lindsay Sparkes was driven by a desire to improve rather than by competition. Leaving figure skating for curling she replaced judges with a scoreboard and by focusing on her own ability, eventually the winning took care of itself. Joined by childhood friends Dawn Knowles, Robin Klassen and Lorraine Bowles, Lindsay skipped her young team to the Provincial and Canadian Championship in 1976. They repeated in 1979, with the added pressure of representing Canada at the first ever Women's World...


Episode 67 - Glen Jackson/Doug Wilson

Glen Jackson was young and brash but made a mature decision when it mattered. A coin flip to determine who would be third for Paul Gowsell on their high school rink went to Neil Houston and Glen chose to stay with the team. Joined by Kelly Stearne at lead, the long haired teenagers with their push brooms would go on to win Canadian and World Junior Championships while taking home cash from some of the greatest teams of the era. Glen shares his version of legendary Gowsell stories like the...


Episode 66 - Matt Hames/Warren Hansen

Matt Hames was a mad man. Once a copywriter, just like fictional TV character Don Draper, Matt gave up three martini lunches at Bay and Bloor for six packs and road trips to bonspiels in Thunder Bay and a chance to make the Olympics. After falling short to reach the 1997 Olympic Trials with John Base, Matt landed with Scott Patterson and kept pursuing curling for a time, but eventually life took him to Upstate New York. We discuss Matt's journey and also how we met; not on the ice in 1995...


Episode 65 - John Ferguson

John Ferguson developed management skills from behind the tee-line. Dealing with a contentious boardroom seemed easy after numerous years as vice for two of the most eccentric skips in curling history. As third for Paul Gowsell, John won the 1977 Canadian Juniors and 1978 Uniroyal World championships. He eventually teamed with Ed Lukowich and joined by Neil Houston and Brent Syme, they won the 1986 World Championship and captured the bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. John shares...


Episode 64 - Guy Hemmings

Guy Hemmings found curling by accident. Having moved to Montreal for University, during a Sunday morning walk he saw a sign to try curling at the Outremont Club. This chance encounter would eventually lead him to skip Quebec to the Brier finals. Twice. Guy, along with Pierre Charette, Guy Thibaudeau and Dale Ness, won over the crowds in Winnipeg (1998) and Edmonton (1999) with their play on the ice during the day and in the Patch each night. Guy shares his passion for the sport and describes...


Episode 63 - Alison Goring

Alison Goring likes to be around people. Socializing was also a form of sports psychology. She couldn't face the alternative of quiet solitude in a hotel room the night before a big game. Alison won the 1983 Canada Winter Games and Canadian Juniors with Kristin Holman (now Turcotte), Cheryl McPherson and Lynda Armstrong. Seven years later, with Andrea Lawes at second, Kristen, Cheryl and Alison would break through, winning Ontario and the Scott Tournament of Hearts. Her last Scotties ended...


Episode 62 - Julie Skinner

Julie Skinner was always driven. Recognizing this, she was hesitant to return to curling when Kelley Law asked her to play third years after she'd stepped away. With the support of her family, Julie jumped head first into her second act and it led to a World Championship and Olympic medal. We discuss the early success with wins at two Junior Canadian Championships including a World Juniors in 1988, followed by her first Scotties victory in 1991. Julie explains why she left in her prime, why...


Episode 61 - Don Bartlett, Part 3

Don Bartlett returns for more conversation. He shares thoughts on the Brier boycott era and Team Martin with Carter Rycroft. Don discusses the Ferbey Four, playing a bonspiel with Paul Gowsell, split times and 5 rock Free Guard Zone. You can also hear Don Bartlett on Episodes 39 and 40.


Episode 60 - Peter Gallant

Peter Gallant never took to skating. His father was a hockey coach and while his older brother reached for a stick and puck, he chose a broom and slider. His choice led to nine Brier appearances with Prince Edward Island and a Canadian Mixed title in 1987. Peter started coaching with son Brett, winning a Canadian Junior Championship in 2009. Years later Peter landed a role with South Korea where he coached Team Kim Eun-jung to a silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in their home country....


Episode 59 - Ray Grant

Ray Grant's father Andy felt one trip to the Brier was enough. After skipping Ontario at the first Regina Brier in 1955, Andy's experience was so fantastic he believed every competitive curler should be given a chance to go. However, they did return to the 1958 Brier in Victoria, with Murray Roberts now skipping. A loss to Northern Ontario in their final draw kept them from what could have been a three team play-off with Alberta's Matt Baldwin and the young Terry Braunstein Rink from...


Episode 58 - Bernie Sparkes

Bernie Sparkes loves the Brier. From his first purple heart as second for Ron Northcott in 1966 to his twelfth and final appearance skipping British Columbia in 1987, every visit to the Canadian Men's Curling Championship meant as much as the last. Bernie shares stories of the highs and lows at the top of the sport for over two decades. In between we'll cover Fred Storey sweeping techniques and how to repair blisters, along with practical jokes and the importance of team dynamics. Bernie...


Episode 57 - Earle Morris

Earle Morris always knew how to prepare. Years before appearing in a Brier he studied the best teams, collecting binders of notes on how to approach the game. Travelling with the military made it difficult to establish himself but eventually Earle skipped Team Manitoba at the Brier in 1980. He won Quebec in 1982 as third for Don Aitken and returned again in 1985 as skip of Ontario, becoming the first player to represent three different provinces at the Brier. Earle shares stories from his...


Episode 56 - Pat Sanders

Pat Sanders was always determined to knock over obstacles. Still a knee slider when starting university, she changed her delivery and fought to make the school team, later moving from toe slide to flat foot to improve even further. Reaching the womens ranks, she by-passed the pecking order of positions and skipped at an age most would have started at lead. In 1985 she won a Canadian mixed as third for Steve Skillings and then led her rink of Louise Herlinveaux, Georgina Hawkes and Deb...


Epsiode 55 - Larry Wood

Larry Wood doesn't like puff pieces. He became editor of the Tankard Times, a daily newspaper at the Brier, on one condition; he wasn't going to pull any punches. As columnist at the Calgary Herald, Larry was scribe to many of the greatest moments in curling history. His first Brier was 1960 in Fort William (now Thunder Bay) and he only missed two in the next 55 years. Larry describes his early days in curling and the path that led him to cover those many Briers, Scotties and World...


Episode 54 - Harvey Mazinke, Part 2

In Part 2 of my conversation with Harvey Mazinke we begin with a Paul Gowsell story, discuss the original Labatt Brier cresting, re-writing of the "burnt stone" rule, hogline officials and the controversy surrounding the qualifying for the 1988 Olympics. Harvey was President of the Canadian Curling Association from 1987-1988 and takes us behind the scenes from that era. We eventually head back to 1975 and '76 for a few more Brier tales.


Episode 53 - Harvey Mazinke, Part 1

Harvey Mazinke influenced curling as a player and a builder. Growing up in Manitoba, Harvey reached the Brier in 1964 with Bruce Hudson, but moved to Saskatchewan a few years later. Eventually he built a team of Billy Martin at third, George Achtymichuk at second and Dan Klippenstein at lead. In 1973 they broke through to win the Brier in Edmonton. The reward was a return trip home to Regina for the World's where an unbeaten record was spoiled by a loss to Sweden in the final game. In Part 1...


Episode 52 - Anne Merklinger

Anne Merklinger understands the mind of an athlete. As a swimmer she competed with the University of South Carolina and Canada's national team, a choice that delayed her curling pursuits for four years. Eventually Anne returned to Ottawa and skipped a team that would battle the best in Canada for a decade. Her rink of third Theresa Breen, second Patti McKnight and lead Audrey Frey won four Ontario Provincials, losing a semifinal (1993) and two finals ('98 and '00) at the Scotties Tournament...


Epsiode 51 - Bob Weeks/Mickey Duzyj

Bob Weeks joins Kevin to discuss TSN's recent attempt to rank Canada's Greatest Curlers (35:45). Bob explains how the process came together and they discuss the many challenges of trying to rank curlers from different eras. Eventually they dig into the categories and compare their choices with the results. Before talking to Bob, Kevin is joined by Mickey Duzyj, creator of the Netflix sports documentary series LOSERS. Episode 4 is "Stone Cold", inspired by the first episode of Curling Legends...


Episode 50 - Rick Folk

Rick Folk was meant to throw the last rock. His ability to focus while remaining calm under pressure worked for both golf and curling. After coming up short in his first two Briers (1978 and '79), Rick, along with Ron Mills and the Wilson Brothers (Tom and Jim) became the first team to lift the Labatt Tankard Trophy in 1980. Rick's focus was tested at the World Championships in Moncton, where the Labonte Curse had held Canada winless since 1972. After moving to British Columbia, Rick won...


Episode 49 - Bob Picken

Bob Picken had a voice for curling. An accomplished skip who nearly won a Purple Heart at the 1963 Manitoba Provincials, Bob became widely known for his other contributions to the sport. His distinct broadcasting sound covered many Briers and World Championships and his involvement with the CCA and the International Curling Federation helped usher in the Uniroyal World Junior Men's Championship in the early 70's. Bob shares stories of his curling days and travelling abroad with other crew...