Thursday, December 4, 2008

Team Canada announcement delayed

The announcement of the members of Team Canada 2009 has been delayed until Saturday December 13th, at the banquet at the Richmond International spiel, as happened last year.

The eight squad members had been told that they would know today, and the reason for the delay is unclear. Possibly Joe Rea, who did not travel to Ottawa for the Cathy Kerr, needed additional time to see them play. Or it might have been felt that announcing the team before Richmond would adversely affect the performance of those not chosen. Whatever the reason, as of today the proposed line-ups in Richmond are:

Armstrong, Neighbour, Forrest, Yitzek
Austgarden, Cormack, Sobkowicz, Gaudet
It should be noted that the proposed line-ups changed shortly before the Ottawa event.

This does, however, allow more time for those yet to cast their ballot for Team Canada 2009. Please do so in the comments section in the post below this one.


Anonymous said...

Who delayed the announcement?

I believe that there is no issue on Armstrong, Neighbour and Forrest...The rest has to be political concerns.

Anonymous said...


You probably hit the answer on the non-call. Team Canada has asserted themselves in both international events, finishing as top two....quite a statement so what happens to the three who are cut?????

Anonymous said...

Just let armstrong pick the team and get on with it.....caches are getting paid when armstrong could do the job....

Anonymous said...

Changing of the 2006 Guard?????

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. said...

The training squad is likely to remain at 8, and to keep the other 3 intested, they will be assured that they still have a shot at 2010. And indeed they may.

The 2009 Worlds may be used as a training exercise in preparation for 2010, and if so, it would seem sensible to give Sobkowicz and Yizek a look to see how they cope in that environment, even if the present intention is not to play either in 2010. This assumes that Armstrong, Neighbour and Forrest have secured their spots.

Anonymous said...


Your logic seems accurate...your observations or discussions with the CCA?????

Anonymous said...

Come on, Eric:

What's the scoop?

Your comments suggest you know what is up.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is SURPRISE SURPRISE!!!

A delay in accouning the team...SHocking.......

As for the other non selected 3....we may want to ask our selves what about other players which may develop into those spots. What about returning players like Daw. What about new players which we they find or other players which could get dropped in like Armstrong did.

With the removal of most of the 2006 squad who is to ay Gerry or Jim don't find a bunch of "disabled - AB" players to fill the team up and we have that happen!

Anonymous said...

Is your comment factual or an educated guess?

Anonymous said...

Your suggestion is far-fetched. All players HAVE to be approved by the WCF medical assessor (only ONE for the sport). Armstrong has been assessed.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is a little of both!

But it all together....What do you get.

System where is serves a select few with NO opportunity for the old or the new?

How does anyone crack the clan of the few Gerry/ now Jim/ Joe select.

The old players or pool people like Daw or Roy or Gregory have no chance. New players or non-pool players like Rees have no chance.

Don't say anythin or do anything to Piss the select few off or your done in this sport with no chance of ever getting a chance or for those few getting another chance.

Why did they delay...because they can or where they afraid that players would not show up. I know I wouldn't.

The system for selecting this team has alwasy been faulty and always will be as long as the favours kepp following in to the buddy of the govenor!

. said...

Although Team Canada coaches have been assiduously accumulating statistics (fact), team selection involves more than mathematics (opinion).

Obvious non-mathematical criteria such as who performs in the clutch, who freezes when the pressure's on, who relaxes the team and makes them play better as a unit, will surely be part of the equation.

Then there are the overtly political considerations: is it healthy for the development of the sport to have the entire team and the coach reside in BC? With plausible candidates outside of BC, that answer may change.

My personal conviction, expressed many times in my writing, is that while team selection by external coaches may satisfy the demands of funders, and arguably produce the most competent team in the short run, it is disaster for the long term growth of the sport in Canada.

At present the ONLY consideration in the minds of the selectors is winning gold in Vancouver, which is why I suspect once again achievement at the Worlds will be discounted as mere preparation for 2010.

It can be argued that Team Canada success is a separate issue from grassroots development. The excuse is Own The Podium funding. If you read the OTP wheelchair curling advisory reports you'll see why quads like Chris Rees, Frank LaBounty and Whitney Warren were never likely to make the team.

I am trying to encourage more openness and discussion of these issues. Accusations of bad faith are unhelpful and unlikely to produce better information. I believe that people like Gerry Peckham are doing what the feel is best for the sport, even when I disagree with their approach. It's easy to criticise behind an anonymous post. It is a little more helpful to put your name to constructive suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Well said , Eric:

A selected team is always a political problem. However, our numbers at this point are simply too small to field an internationally competitive team through any other means.

Funding through Own the Podium, etc. are geared to a purposeful international result. It would also appear that maintaining the "status quo" regarding team selection is unlikely. This suggests that the coaches are open to constructive change. I don't see anyone questioning Armstrong, Neighbour and Forrest as making the team. The reality is that there is only one starting spot and the alternate still available.

Like the system or not, I can't see a stronger team, but would love to hear other suggested line-ups including people outside of the present 8.

Anonymous said...

How about...


Sobkowicz Alternate

Anonymous said...

A select team is a fact of life until we get the numbers well above present situation. Don't know how there can even be an argument.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet that Jim Armstrong would agree that his National champion team wold not do well internationally. In fact, I doubt he will even win B.C. this season.

Anonymous said...

Armstrong is playing with his B.C. team from last year out of obligation, and good on him. I still think he wil win B.C. Guess we will se ethe impact of one player.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should take a breath, and focus on the most likely way to maximize Canada's medal chances. On that basis, who should we send?

Anonymous said...


Who is Daw, I am new to wheelchair curling and not sure who he is?

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Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever looked at what Chris Daw has done?

I am new to the sport, I asked who he was and did a little research.

And he has done alot, not just in curling but other sports as well. I asked the CPC who he was and they said he had been around for over 3o years in paralympic sport.With a run in over 5 different sports.

Does anyone know why he left wheelchair curling, or if he will be back? I emailed him, and am awaiting a response. Seems very odd that a person like him with that kind of talent not to speak of a gold medal would just leave.

Eric, do you know why at all??? Does he do anything in the curl world now?

. said...

Chris Daw is a multi-sport Paralympian who was one of the original wheelchair users recruited to curl for Canada at the 2002 World Championships.

In 2006 he skipped the Canadian team that won the very first gold medal awarded for wheelchair curling at the Torino Paralympics.

He continued as Canada's first and only skip until suddenly leaving the program in December 2007 under circumstances not yet fully publicly explained.

Chris recently broke his hip in an ATV accident, a severe injury that is likely to take a considerable time to rehabilitate, so suggestions that he rejoin the national team are at present moot.

You can read a note from Chris concerning his injury at this link.

Anonymous said...

Seems to bad for the sport to have him leave.....a loss I guess.