July 22, 2018

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Noisy North Bay knows how to throw a curling shindig

NORTH BAY, ONT. — All week, curlers at the Women’s World Championship raved about the crowds in North Bay, and for good reason. The city set attendance records for a women’s world tournament in Canada, at 69,391. In nearly every draw, the fans were electric.

So when curlers praised the fans, this wasn’t just lip service. Even when cameras weren’t rolling, players absolutely raved about the atmosphere. Canada skip Jennifer Jones meant it when she said it was the loudest she’d ever seen.

What’s more, they were knowledgeable, and very gracious. In the last round-robin draw, every team — even those stuck in the bottom of the standings — were carried off the ice with a magnificent ovation.

Early in the week, one North Bay resident said he felt as if the city was eager to prove itself to the world. As if it would give the whole city a life, to know they’d done well. And if that’s true, well, then mission accomplished.

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NORTH BAY, ONT. — All week, curlers at the Women’s World Championship raved about the crowds in North Bay, and for good reason. The city set attendance records for a women’s world tournament in Canada, at 69,391. In nearly every draw, the fans were electric.

So when curlers praised the fans, this wasn’t just lip service. Even when cameras weren’t rolling, players absolutely raved about the atmosphere. Canada skip Jennifer Jones meant it when she said it was the loudest she’d ever seen.

What’s more, they were knowledgeable, and very gracious. In the last round-robin draw, every team — even those stuck in the bottom of the standings — were carried off the ice with a magnificent ovation.

Early in the week, one North Bay resident said he felt as if the city was eager to prove itself to the world. As if it would give the whole city a life, to know they’d done well. And if that’s true, well, then mission accomplished.

Kudos for Officer

Not only does Team Jones second Jill Officer wrap her full-time curling career with a second world championship, but she also earned praise from her peers: players voted her the winner of the Frances Brodie Award for sportsmanship.

Swiss disappointed

There were few big surprises at these worlds. Canada and Sweden were heavy favourites, and nothing challenged that perception. Russia’s Victoria Moiseeva was expected to be in the mix, and earned bronze.

Even several squads who didn’t seize a medal came away pleased. Despite losing the bronze-medal game to Moiseeva, for instance, Team USA skip Jamie Sinclair was rightly proud of her up ’n’ coming team’s effort.

Yet if there was one real disappointment, it would likely be Team Switzerland. Skip Binia Feltscher is already a two-time world champion; she won in 2014 and ’16. She was certainly gunning for better than a 5-7 finish.

Swedes rule all-star team

So strong were the Swedes they nearly filled the all-star team, which is determined by shooting success. Making the cut: skip Anna Hasselborg (85 per cent), third Sara McManus (88) and lead Sofia Mabergs (91).

The other player to earn the honour was Russia second Galina Arsenkina, who shot a brilliant 90 per cent.

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