REGINA — Peter Gallant sits in the stands here watching his two sons curl, one for Brad Gushue’s Team Canada and the other for Eddie ‘Spuds’ MacKenzie’s Prince Edward Island.
Gallant was never the biggest name in the game, curling in nine Briers, including the last couple as a skip for PEI. But, this year he has a special status.
His real claim to fame is having coached The Garlic Girls — skip ‘Annie’ Kim Eun-jung and the other Kim girls Kyeong-ae, Seon-young and Yeong-mi — to a silver medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
He spent three years coaching the girls to one of the greatest Olympic stories ever, one that will quite likely become a major movie, yet they didn’t even extend his contract long enough for him to coach them later this month at the women’s curling championships in North Bay, Ont.
“My contract was up at the end of the Olympics,” Gallant said. “They didn’t even say ‘Thank you.’”
Maybe, if he has success again, it’ll be one that will say thank you.
Peter Gallant is not the first dad to sit in the stands and watch two sons play for two different provinces, with Brett playing for Team Canada and Christopher playing for PEI.
“I guess I’d be the first to do it with boys in two different pools,” said Gallant, the 58-year-old father who has taken a seat in the stands for every draw of the 89th Brier so far.
“After skipping in my last Brier in Winnipeg in 2008, Brett was at an age when he need coaching. So that’s when I became a coach.”
Christopher, also a second, is a former PEI junior champion and Canadian university champion.
“He’s kind of grown up in Brett’s shadow. Brett was always the curler. Chris was always a kid that played every sport. He was good at every sport but not the star on any of them. He was the second-line centre in hockey. He went to the Canada Games playing table tennis.
“It’s his first Brier and a big thrill for me. Just for him to experience playing in a Brier before the big crowds and with all the atmosphere is wonderful.”