Brad GUSHUE was unable to earn a spot at the upcoming Roar of the Rings Olympic trials curling event in Winnipeg but it appears he'll be making the trip anyway.
Gushue has been asked by Kevin Martin's team to join as a fifth and provide the Alberta- based team with Olympic gold insurance.
Martin won the gold in 2010 and Gushue was able to win gold for Canada in 2006.
"I'm just working out the details with my team but I don't see any issues," Gushue told the Free Press Tuesday. "The main reason they asked me is if Ben (Hebert) or Marc (Kennedy) gets hurt. They'll need a good sweeper. No, I'm joking. But if something does happen, I have been in that position before and have been successful. It probably gives them a little peace of mind. It won't ruin their chances and they'll still have an opportunity."
The 16-team event Roar of the Rings is scheduled for Dec. 1-8 at the MTS Centre.
Dave Nedohin, previously of Randy Ferbey's team, now throws third stones for Martin with second Kennedy and lead Hebert still in their 2010 gold medal positions. Nedohin joined Martin after third John Morris left last spring.
"I don't think Kevin needs any help. I think he's probably the best strategist to ever play the game. So in a timeout situation, I don't see myself having any input. For me, the main role is going to make sure they have a good set of rocks matched up going into a game and to do a little bit of scouting for them. I've always believed that a fifth can't win you a championship but he can lose it for you."
Gushue says he has no plans or desire to see any action.
"I don't want to play. Those guys earned their spots," said Gushue. "I'm just planning on going there and take care of some of the distractions off the ice. Let them focus on making shots and winning games. It's an opportunity to go and join a team that has a chance to win."
Four local teams will be in the field and the host committee has designated special Fan Zones for supporters of Manitoba teams skipped by Jennifer Jones, Jeff Stoughton, Chelsea Carey and Mike McEwen.
"We know there's going to be a lot of passionate people in the stands cheering on these teams," said host committee chair Mitch Tarapasky.
"A lot of them will be family and personal friends of the athletes and we want to make sure they have the opportunity to share this exciting experience. But even if you're just a fan of one of the teams, pick your seat in their section because it's going to be a whole lot of fun."
The Manitoba team Fan Zones are situated in the following sections at the MTS Centre: Jennifer Jones (210, 310, 311); Jeff Stoughton (215, 316, 317); Chelsea Carey/Mike McEwen (201, 301, 302).
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