Brad Gushue and his team returned home this week not just national champions, but world champions.
Riding their hometown Brier success, Team Gushue sailed through the World Men’s Curling Championships in Edmonton, going unbeaten for the gold.
“We had a great time. Our team played so well it made it even more fun,” said Brad Gushue. “It was a lot less pressure. I think we got a pretty monkey off our back with winning the Brier.”
The team of Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, Geoff Walker and Brett Gallant returned home Monday evening to where it all began. The entire team received life long memberships to the St. John’s Curling Club.
“There’s lots of stories of me being 16 years old and practicing here well after midnight,” said Gushue. “It’s nice to reflect with the members and people who were apart of that, who were a big part of this year too.”
The St. John’s Curling Club hopes the team’s success and spotlight encourage other young locals to aspire to take up the game of curling and try to be the next Brad Gushue.
“That’s what I really want to see out of this. That was my number one motivation when I started all this Brier talk,” said Gushue. “To grow the game, to grow clubs. Curling has done so much for me, I want other people to have that.”
Portions of the Brier’s 50/50 and event ticket sales will be going into the club. It will allow for physical renovations of the club and will fund trips for junior teams to national tournaments.
Money aside, the club’s vice-president, John Sheppard, says the exposure the 2017 Brier gave to curling as a sport was felt immediately.
“We had an open house the Sunday after the Brier. Typically we have 25 people show up,” said Sheppard. “We had 250 show up. They were lined up out the door.”
Team Gushue won’t be home long. Next week they’re in Calgary for the Champions Cup, the year’s final event.