wheelchair curlers win gold
March 18 2006
Canada won the first-ever Paralympic wheelchair curling gold medal
by defeating Great Britain 7-4 in Saturday's final in Turin, Italy.
The Canadian team, made up of skip Chris Daw, third Gerry Austgarden,
second Gary Cormack, lead Sonja Gaudet and alternate Karen Blachford
jumped to an early lead, scoring two in the first end.
Great Britain answered with three in the second before the teams
traded one-point ends, giving the British a 4-3 lead going into
the fifth end.
With his last stone of the fifth, Daw faced a crowded house with
six stones inside the four-foot. The Canadian skip played a delicate
angle-raise, tapping a British stone off the button to count three
and give Canada a 6-4 lead.
In the sixth and final end, Great Britain had three stones in the
house for skip Frank Duffy's final shot. Duffy needed only to remove
Canada's shot stone to score three and win the gold. But he missed
the open takeout, handing Canada a steal of one and the 7-4 win.
"I've played that shot 100 times before," Duffy told
the Canadian Press. "It just wasn't to be. It's a tough way
to lose but that's curling."
Wheelchair curling made its Paralympic debut in Turin. The sport
generally follows the same rules as Olympic curling, with a few
notable exceptions: games consist of six ends rather than 10; teams
must include both male and female players; rocks are thrown from
halfway down the sheet; players may use an extender cue to deliver
their rocks and sweeping is not allowed.
Sweden won the bronze medal with a 10-2 win over Norway on Friday.