“I’ve have been on TSN a lot but never for an interview – yet,” the Montague resident joked prior to the Brier’s eighth draw Tuesday morning.
About two weeks ago he received a call from Jamie Bourassa, head ice technician for the Brier, who had broken his ankle. The Alberta resident needed help and Richards was quick to respond.
Bourassa, Richards – who is a level three certified ice technician – and other members of the crew are a law into themselves at ice level before, during and after each draw.
Bourassa is continuing his duties as crew chief despite an ankle cast and crutches but only ventures as far as the coaches’ table.
Richard said working the ice at the Brier was a longtime dream.
“It was one of the top things on my bucket list,” said Richards, icemaker at both the Montague and Charlottetown curling clubs.
Richards is on hand for every draw in St. John’s, N.L. – helping to supervise pebbling, scraping and fixing any ice-related problems – since the Canadian men’s curling championships started at Mile One Centre. Changing handles on rocks, with their electronic sensors, is a regular task.
“It’s a great building. We haven’t had too many complaints. It has a great air exchange system.”
He’ll be busy at work right to the end of Sunday night’s Brier final and heads home early Monday to resume his P.E.I. curling jobs with one less item on his bucket list.