Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Tobans dream of BDO, Oly gold

Stoughton, McEwen visualize perfection

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IF it all played out according to the master script Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen have bopping around in their heads, the next few months would unfold something like this...

Win a couple of bonspiels leading up to the Road to the Rings event in Prince George, B.C., next month.

Capture one of four spots in B.C. to qualify for the Olympic Trials in Edmonton in December.

Run through one of the greatest fields ever assembled at the Trials to earn the right to represent Canada at the Olympics;

Be properly feted and honoured at the last international event before the Olympics, the BDO Classic Canadian Open here in Winnipeg from Jan.20-24.

Finally, win gold for Canada in Vancouver a month later.

Heck, a guy and his rink can dream, can't he?

"If we could get to the BDO Classic with an Olympic berth, well, you wouldn't be able to wipe the smile off my face all week," Stoughton said Wednesday at the BDO Classic Canadian Open's media launch. "That's the perfect world: Do well in Prince George to get one of the four spots, go to the Trials and win it.

"If we did that and came here (for the BDO), that'd be a huge send-off party."

That's what will make this winter's BDO arguably one of the most intriguing of the four previous events staged at the MTS Centre. Once again, the third leg of the men's 2009-10 Grand Slam of Curling will feature a world-class field that will include the top 14 teams on the Order of Merit, regardless of nationality, as well as the Canadian and American Olympic representative.

In other words, of the 18 teams in Winnipeg chasing a share of the $100,000 purse, at least a handful will likely be wearing their nation's colours in Vancouver less than a month later. And that should make for some dandy curling.

"Other than if you're in Edmonton for the Olympic Trials, this would be the best field you could play against," McEwen said.

Ticket packages for the event are on sale at Ticketmaster (204-780-3333, or online at ticketmaster.ca) and begin at $99, or $139 ($129 for seniors) for a reserved spot in the home and away ends. CBC TV will air live coverage of the playoff rounds and the final, as well as the Capital One Million Dollar Button contest, where one lucky fan will get a million if he or she can cover the button.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

OLYMPIC FIXATION C3

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 16, 2009 C1

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