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Original curling medallist added to hall of fame

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Debbie Jones-Walker takes pride in the fact that she curled, and won gold, at the Calgary Winter Olympics, even though curling at the time was only a demonstration sport.

"It’s funny now because there is a commercial on TV where they say Canada has never won a gold medal on Canadian soil," said Jones-Walker. "Our team always says that (statistic) should have little asterisks beside it, because we did win a gold medal. As a demonstration sport it didn’t count, but to us it was huge."

Yesterday, at the St. Vital Curling Club Jones-Walker and Barb Enright were named as inductees into the 2010 Manitoba Curling Hall Of Fame. The official ceremony will be May 2, at the Canad Inns, Polo Park.

"This is a real honour," said Jones-Walker. "I don’t know if you appreciate it at the time when you are actually doing the sport, but when you look back on your career you really do appreciate it more than you do when you are in it."

Enright confessed that she was taken aback by all the attention.

"Recalling her career, she said there were several highlights that stood out. "The Canadian junior championship in 1984 was the big one," she said. "When we won the Ladies in 1986, we were new to women’s curling (just out of juniors) and we surprised ourselves. The fact that it took 17 years to get back to the Canadians again makes the 2003 provincial championship a really special one for me."

Joining them in the Hall are the 1999 the Manitoba men’s team of skip Jeff Stoughton, third Jon Mead, second Garry VanDenBerghe, and lead Doug Armstrong.

Lily Clark skipped the veteran team inductees, made up of Vic Painter (third), Helen Wishard (second), and Diane Kitson (lead).

Builders include Georgina Anderson and Rick Mutton in the modern category. Veteran builders are Marian Rowlands and J.W. DeCouroy O’Grady.

Tickets for the awards dinner are $60, or $480 for a table of eight, and can be purchased through Curl Manitoba by calling 925-5723 or toll-free at 1-800-706-1486.

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

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