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My memorable curling

Jo-lene Mullett

January 23, 2022

This is my story of my memorable curling.
My name is Jo-lene Mullett from Carmacks, Yukon. It is in the cold Northern part of Canada with a population of approximately 500. It’s also where I was born and raised. Before the pandemic, a group of volunteers from the community have organized an annual curling bonspiel; a time when people from across the Yukon make the trip to join in on the weekend fun. Sometimes there could be more than 20 teams registered for the three-day tournament. It is known as the annual sweetheart bonspiel for it was always held around the weekend of Valentine’s Day. There is trophies and prizes for a variety of categories including 1st in “A, B, & C”, as well as 2nd and 3rd. All teams are given a package that includes the rules of the game, entry tickets to the banquet and dance on Saturday night and a drink ticket each. There is a chance for each player to vote for individual and team prizes throughout the weekend. Having it being a sweetheart bonspiel there is also a prize for the sweetheart couple that players vote for as well. Couple of examples for the individual prize would be “most valuable player”, “furthest away award”, etc. For the team category it could be “best dressed”, “most sportsmanlike team”, “first out rink”, etc.
In 2008, my husband, my brother, the Chief of our First Nation at the time, and I registered our team. It’s always a great time as usual. I remembered we weren’t playing well for the first couple games but once we warmed up it seemed we got better and better each game we played after that. I was pleased and shocked at the same time that we beat some great teams who usually win. When Saturday came around, we definitely knew we were in the playoffs but we weren’t sure where we stood until we won the last game that night. I remembered we were so happy and proud of ourselves for our accomplishment. We knew we were going to be playing for 1st in the “A” but we also knew it was going to be a battle because we were playing against yet another great team.
When the final game started, we knew we had to play like how we played all weekend. Our strategy was to get as many rocks in the house and of course, the game was close and at this point it was anyone’s game. We also knew that if we made one mistake it might cost us. It turned out to be a very tensed game and much too close but we somehow maintained the winning streak. I’ve never came in at the top in any curling bonspiel before, in fact, I don’t think any of the others on my team have either. Prior to this bonspiel it was always either winning in the B or C category but never in the A.
At the awards after our last game, my husband and I found out not only did we win 1st in “A” but we also unanimously won the sweetheart couple award. We received cash for winning 1st in “A” and a trophy as well. For winning the sweetheart couple my husband and I received a basket full of interesting things that sweethearts need including a night stay in a jacuzzi suite at a hotel.
I feel this is my most memorable curling for a couple of reasons. For one, obviously for winning First in “A” for the first time. The other reason was winning the sweetheart award with my amazing husband especially winning it at the same bonspiel tournament. I feel this was my most memorable curling because at the next annual sweetheart bonspiel we weren’t as lucky a year later. We registered the same team and kept the same strategy in the back of our minds, but there’s just too many good curlers which made it more difficult to win at least one game. Our team ended up being “first out”. So, in 1 year we went from 1st in “A” to “First out” (as shown in picture). I thought it was comical that it happened the way it did. Although, we lost that year I still felt proud of our (toilet) trophy, it made the previous year that much more special. What I did learned from this is that no matter if you lose or win, having fun is what counts.

The last game when we won 1st A