Brad Gushue and the b’ys are back in St. John’s for the Brier this week. Regardless of how his rink does, Gushue can still lay claim to being a part of Canada’s first men’s Olympic curling gold.
Gushue is chasing an elusive Brier championship in his home province more than a decade after he and his rink of Russ Howard, Mark Nichols, Jamie Korab and Mike Adam went from longshot qualifiers at the Canadian trials to champions at the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics.
As the tournament heats up on the Rock, let’s take a look back at the Games that made Gushue a part of Canadian curling history.
Clutch against Great Britain
Sitting at 1-1 after the first two games in Turin, Canada needed a win over the highly touted British rink led by David Murdoch. Unfazed, the then-25-year-old Gushue sealed the victory with a clutch double in the ninth end.
Winning it for mom
Canada finished the round robin in second and reached the final against top-ranked Finland after a tense semifinal. It only took Gushue and the Canadians eight ends to secure gold thanks to a six-point sixth end (but more on that later).
While Gushue’s father, Ray, was in Italy for the tournament — wearing his ubiquitous “Brad’s Dad” shirt — his mother, Maureen, was at home undergoing treatment for cancer. Immediately after the final stone was thrown, there was only one person Gushue wanted to speak to.
Total team effort
Mark Nichols’ performance at the Torino Olympics played a huge part in Canada’s run to gold. The ace third — who is also a part of Gushue’s rink at the Brier along with Geoff Walker and Brett Gallant — had an impressively high shot percentage throughout the Games, including a 97 per cent performance in the final.
His biggest shot undoubtedly came during Canada’s sixth end in the gold-medal game.