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My Curling ‘Moment’ – An adventure of a lifetime.

Donald Giles

January 23, 2022

In January 2018, I was one of forty Canadian curlers to represent Canada in the Strathcona Cup competition between Scotland and Canada. This competition has occurred every 5 years [since 1908] – the longest international sports competition. The Scots are coming to Canada in January 2023.

I applied for team selection in 2016, being a 7th generation Scot [on my Mom’s side]. In November 2016, having arrived home [10 pm] after a long road trip from Northern BC, and in much need of a night’s sleep, I opened my e-mail to discover that I have been selected for Strathcona Cup Team 2018. Needless to say – I did not get my night’s sleep.

Scottish curlers came to Canada for the competition in 2013, and I had the honour of skipping a team at the North Shore Winter Club (North Vancouver). The competition was tough – and I was new to skipping. Our team lost miserably. However, I exchanged business cards with the Scottish skip, Jim.

I e-mailed ‘Jim’ about my exciting news, but got no reply, so thought he must have moved on from curling.

Team Canada gathered in Toronto in January 2018, flew to Glasgow, gathered our luggage, cleared customs and entered the main lobby of the airport. We were greeted by the Scottish Strathcona Cup Committee, holding a welcoming banner – and right in the middle, pointing directly at me, was ‘my Jim’ – Jim Cullen, President of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. Jim knew I was coming as they had received a list of the Canadian Team members.

I played third on our team, and over the 23 games on the competition, we won 18 games, 3 losses, and 2 ties – one of the best team records for Strathcona Cup competition in many years. Team Canada won Strathcona Cup 2018!

Our final day, in Edinburgh, were non-counting games, and our team played Team Cullen. Just before were were piped onto the ice for our games, the organizing committee announced that 3rd and lead positions would ‘switch teams’. I had the pleasure of playing with Jim, as his 3rd, against my regular skip. We won 14-4.
Earlier, another competition game was played – against a young Scottish skip – Bruce Mouat – a real gentleman. Lucky for us, he did not have his junior teammates! We also won that game!