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    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Armstrong - "Too soon for Paralympic trials"

    Jim Armstrong participated in the opening ceremonies at the Olympic Trials in Edmonton Sunday, one of four holding brooms for ceremonial first rocks. Sun Media's Con Griwkowsky took the opportunity to profile him.

    Even though Armstrong found the idea of holding an Olympic wheelchair qualifier at the same time as a Canadian curling trials compelling, he figured it might be an idea best saved for sometime in the future.

    "You know what? Wheelchair curling is still a little young," said the personable Armstrong, a former dentist.

    "We've certainly got the infrastructure, but we don't quite have enough bodies yet. It's coming, but we're only eight or nine years in Canada. Give it a few years and, yeah, it might make sense."


    Read the complete article

    Fortunately we have four years to argue the case and justify a Paralympic Trials.

    44 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    With this article, I just don't see Armstrong's committment to a playoff for wheelchair curling representation. Why should he? He i likely in the driver's seat for as long as he wants.

    Anonymous said...

    To the contrary, his commitment has been shown time and time again. If he wasn't, he would not be spending weekends in Edmonton, but just doing what was required, and to hell with anything like interviews.

    Anonymous said...

    So WHY does it always have to be Jim going to the high profile events?

    Wheelchair curling is a TEAM sport.

    Anonymous said...

    To reiterate, once again, Jim Armstrong has a profile in the competitive world that we should be thankful for.

    Multiple Brier appearances

    Multiple winner of the Ross Harstone Award

    President of the WCPA when negotiating with CCA

    Known by virtually everyone in the WCF and curling in Canada

    Let's get more of him as our "poster boy"

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    Anonymous said...

    WHO ELSE do you CCA would listen to, other than Armstrong?

    Remember, the CCA have listened to Jim while going through tough years with the Player's Asociation.

    Anonymous said...

    We don't need a Paralympic Trials process--- we have a National Championship that will do the same thing.

    Anonymous said...

    So, what do we do with the present Team Canada? Playoff (say best of 5 against the National winner), or have Team Canada play in the nationals?

    Remember, the CCA will not dismantle the select team, so you will have to have at best a method to challenge them.

    Anonymous said...

    Keep Team Canada out of the Nationals, so we can at least have a champion declared, who can then challenge Team Canada.

    Anonymous said...

    Why would the CCA risk embarassing their select program by allowing a challenge? No upside for them.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree that the CCA will not dismantle Team Canada, and at best, will allow a playoff......I have heard Armstrong talk about this possibility, and I trust he will support it, although I don't know why he would or should.

    Anonymous said...

    Half the teams that compete at the Nationals wouldn't qualify under the WCF rule of having to use a wheelchair for daily living. I hate to have to agree with Jim on this but right now there really is no alternative to a selection team unless there is a classification system. If the CCA would enforce the WCF rule then we would see what provincial teams might be able to challenge "Team Canada" just like in regular curling.

    Anonymous said...

    New WCF qualification rules should be in place post 2010, which will bring them in line with CCA.

    If Armstrong actually supports some kind of play-off, it will be an uphill struggle for him

    Anonymous said...

    Eric:

    Do you think Jim would actually support a Team Canada - National winner playoff?

    Seems to be so far against his best interests.

    Eric Eales said...

    I won't speak for Jim. I think everyone who bought in to selection may have benefited themselves, but did not benefit the overall prospects for the sport catching on and becoming a significant recreation (and competitive) resource.

    Will Armstrong define his involvement in wheelchair curling just in terms of what's good for him? I hope not. Of course there is an argument that national team success is what the sport needs to grow. I don't believe that, but it's a reasonable argument that we will be able to judge over time.

    But I can think of lots of curlers who would not think beyond their own self-interest, especially as the funding is a financially significant bribe to co-operate with the CCA's Team Canada selection policy.

    Easy to say "keep your tax-free $18,000 a year, I'll take my chances as an independent," when you're not being offered the money.

    Anonymous said...

    I really doubt that $18,000 per year is enough of an inducement for Jim to compromise his true values, whatever THEY MAY BE. Look for hin to do what

    Anonymous said...

    I think the sport itself is important enough for Jim to do what he feels is right. After all, given where he has been in his career, a "big fish in a small pond" cannot be that enticing for him

    Anonymous said...

    Jim spent over a year as an "on ice consultant", and I don't think he even submitted expenses If Jim were to stomp his feet really loud, I am sure they (CCA) would listen. Look for hin to do what he feels is right.

    Anonymous said...

    Jim is new to the sport, DOES NOT spend his life in a chair........don't expect too much from him for us.

    I truly HOPE he will, but what is his motivation?

    Anonymous said...

    Back to Jim's mpcomments...I have to agree, to try and showcase our sport adjacent to the Olympic Trials is WAY to early. Let's develop our competitive side a little more.

    Perhaps a challenge by Jim to the Olympic qualifiers for a little one-on-one

    Anonymous said...

    I think there is way too much talk about "what Jim says". Jim is one player---at Nationals last year there were over 40 competetive players. Maybe the opinions of the Provincial Organizations should be quoted on at least as often a basis as Jim. Eric, would you mind doing a poll of the various Provincial Organizations as to their opinion--we'd all be interested.

    As for Team Canada playing in the Nationals. Insist that they all be from the same province (not a problem now--with the exception of the third), have them compete in the Nationals and the winner of the Nationals becomes team Canada for the following year---including access to all of the funding and support staff that is currently available for Team Canada. Team Canada declined to show up at the Cathy Kerr in Ottawa after committing to attend and I expect they didn't want to take the risk of loosing to Team USA or Team Great Britain or (heaven forbid) Team Manitoba, Team Quebec or Team Ontario.

    The CCA need to understand that the Selection of a National Team will be the death of this sport---

    Anonymous said...

    I think Jim has the foresight necessary for the advancement of our sport. He believes, and a think he is right, that it will improve with more top end exposure, improving the profile.

    Anonymous said...

    With all due respect to the blogger that simply wants Team Canada dismantled.......NOT HAPPENING.......

    If JIM can convince the CCA to have a playoff against the National winner, be very thankful, since even that concession would be a HUGE move by the CCA.

    Anonymous said...

    To the blogger saying that their are more players than Jim Armstrong.....you are absolutely correct.

    However, none of them play and call a game as well as Jim, and the ONLY PLAYER that I can imagine the CCA listening to at this time, without a formal player liason is Jim. Get used to it, and enjoy the possibilities.

    Anonymous said...

    Make no mistake, Jim wants wheelchair curling to be as big as possible, since he will want to be the best in a big sport.....he will develop it as fast as he can.

    Anonymous said...

    I would certainly suggest to the Armstrong "naysayers", that if everyone was as committed to the sport as Jim, we would be well served

    Anonymous said...

    But now that Jim has been cleared for play, I doubt anyone has more motivation to make it all happen

    Anonymous said...

    Looking at his entire "select v. winner" issue.......we don't even have a full national play-off yet (maritimes are not represented by individual provinces, Territories are not represented)....leave it with a selct team until thiss is accomplished....next thing will be that PEI is not at Nationals, so they want a shot at Team Canada

    Anonymous said...

    I have heard Jim discuss the possibility of a Team Canada - National Winner Playoff.......let's hope CCA listen

    Anonymous said...

    Why on earth would Jim support such a scheme, when it totally is not in his bet interest?????

    Anonymous said...

    I truly believe JIM HAS AS MUCH INTEREST in the sport as his own accomplishments. Look for him to be a major supporter, as alsays.

    Anonymous said...

    Is it true that interviews with Team Canada, especially Jim, have to go through a media relations person in Ontario?

    I trust that doesn't include you, Eric, if this is fact.

    Everyone better remember that 2010 is a finite issue.

    Anonymous said...

    For real????? A publicist?????

    Is it true, Eric?

    Eric Eales said...

    Team Canada were among the least visible teams at the 2009 Worlds, rarely if ever venturing into the public areas of the stadium.

    For the Paralympics John Sims is the Media Attache through whom all official requests for team access must pass. This is part of a Canada wide Paralympic team protocol designed to prevent disruptions to the athletes' routine.

    It would be nice in a way to think this level of protection is necessary, because it would mean that there was interest, or at least curiosity about the sport.

    USA Curling is making every effort to publicise their team, all the members of their team, in an effort to spread the word and garner recruits. In Canada press coverage has yet to move beyond Jim Armstong's re-emergence. I'm not sure that anyone in a position to influence things, cares enough for that to change.

    I have always had good access to the team and see no reason for that to change. I do wish, however, those directing the team saw publicity as a good and positive thing for the sport, rather than an inconvenience to be suffered.

    Jim said...

    Interesting and insightful point of view. Eric, and I for one, will do my best to be available as our time allows. I know John has a true interest in profiling our sport in the best light. With everyone having a common interest, I am sure we can attain common goals.

    Good luck, and all the best.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Anonymous said...

    I didn't realize Jim reads this sight. Good for him.

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    Eric Eales said...

    When I have time I will try to either put up the video of Jim that TSN showed during the women's final, or a link to it.

    Then you can resubmit your impressions of it. Until then, the topic is closed.