|Intimate brush with curling fame.|
An era has passed. White's Drug Store has been sold. The Nahnybidas are moving toward retirement. On Friday evening, the first night of the 14th annual White's Drug Store Curling Classic, curlers and committee members honoured the long-standing Gold Sponsor of the White's for their great contribution to world class curling, and there were a few tears shed with the memories of the past 14 White's Classics.
For the first time, the Whites was streamed out to the internet via Ustream. Local filmmaker, Kevin Penner volunteered his camera and PC and sheet three was set up for streaming. Eleven games were streamed and the link was tweeted across curling circles and around the world. Over 2000 people caught games on sheet three via the Ustream feed. Lorna Spicer and John Caruk also served as video crew for the streams.
|Martin & BJ sweep Morris's shot. McEwen holds the broom. !?!|
The greatest curlers in the world were on the ice. Six Olympic medalists (Team Martin - 2010, Mark Nichols – 2000, and John Shuster 2006 , USA), World Champions, WCT Money leaders. Really the best of the best were standing shoulder to shoulder with the fans.
|Streaming sheet three.|
|11:00 am. A pause to Remember.|
|6 Sheets in Action. Best in the world.|
Between the Semifinal and Final games, the Whites committee opened the PA system and made an announcement. Rumours and discussion had been drifting around the club all weekend about the future of the White's Drug Store Curling Classic. Would this be the last year? To a curler, all agreed that would be a real shame.
“Too many of the good events have been shutting down,” said qualifying skip, Jeff Hartung of Langenberg. Hartung, curling with two of his sons, knocked off Stoughton in B to qualify and earned $4000 for that win. “This location is great for the Saskatchewan teams. We would really miss this event if this was the last of it.”
Well, his worries were put to rest. The White's committee announced that the new owner wanted to make it known that they would continue as title sponsor for the White's. There was an audible sigh of relief followed by grateful applause.
This White's was the best yet. The blizzard may have reduced the number of curling fans who came to watch, but the curlers all made it before the big storm hit, and the streaming reached many curling fans who were unable to attend.
The White's Drug Store Curling Classic has become a legacy. The curlers love it. They'll be back.