December 13, 2018

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Ex-Winnipeg curler Fry steps away from game after drunken debacle in Red Deer

Former Winnipegger Ryan Fry says he's taking a leave of absence from competitive curling to focus on getting his life back on track following an ugly incident at a bonspiel in Alberta last weekend.

Fry was filling in at the third position last weekend in Red Deer on a team skipped by Northwest Territories curler Jamie Koe. The makeshift team, which also included Chris Schille and DJ Kidby, was kicked out of the World Curling Tour event after some booze-fuelled bad behaviour on and off the ice.

It's been reported Fry broke three brooms in a game Saturday and also damaged a wall in the dressing room at the Pidherney Curling Club.

The team has apologized and promised to pay for repairs.

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Former Winnipegger Ryan Fry says he's taking a leave of absence from competitive curling to focus on getting his life back on track following an ugly incident at a bonspiel in Alberta last weekend.

Fry was filling in at the third position last weekend in Red Deer on a team skipped by Northwest Territories curler Jamie Koe. The makeshift team, which also included Chris Schille and DJ Kidby, was kicked out of the World Curling Tour event after some booze-fuelled bad behaviour on and off the ice.

Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press</p><p>Ryan Fry, seen playing in the 2015 Brier with Northern Ontario, is taking a personal leave from curling after his team was disqualified for playing while intoxicated at a World Curling Tour event in Red Deer, Alta., on Saturday.</p>

Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

Ryan Fry, seen playing in the 2015 Brier with Northern Ontario, is taking a personal leave from curling after his team was disqualified for playing while intoxicated at a World Curling Tour event in Red Deer, Alta., on Saturday.

It's been reported Fry broke three brooms in a game Saturday and also damaged a wall in the dressing room at the Pidherney Curling Club.

The team has apologized and promised to pay for repairs.

"As hard as this is, I need to focus my full energy on my growth and self-improvement as this goes beyond last weekend's events," Fry, a gold medallist with the Brad Jacobs team at the 2014 Winter Olympics, said in a statement Wednesday.

The 40-year-old curler, who now lives in Calgary, was fined $1,000 by the WCT for his behaviour. The money will be donated to Red Deer's junior curling program. As well, Fry said he will "be giving back to my community in hope that my story will help anyone dealing with similar issues."

He offered no time estimate for his return.

"...I am extremely committed to doing everything I can to rebound," said Fry.

Fry is the regular third on Jacobs team from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., which won the 2013 Brier national men's title and Olympic gold a year later in Sochi.

The Jacobs crew, which includes brothers E.J. and Ryan Harnden, is supportive of Fry's decision to step away.

"...This is more important than sport. Our focus is what's best for (Fry) personally, as he is not just our teammate, but also one of our good friends," the team said in a statement. "We believe how Ryan is handling everything is a true reflection of his character."

Jacobs has yet to announce a replacement player for the upcoming Canada Cup bonspiel Dec. 5-9 in Estevan, Sask.

jason.bell@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPJasonBell

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
Assistant sports editor

Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).

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