By: Brad Gushue
The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind. I’m so proud of the team for what we’ve accomplished. An Olympic bronze medal!
Yesterday’s semifinal loss was probably one of the most difficult I’ve had in a while, but we all needed to have a short-term memory, park it and focus on our game ahead. And we did it with a big win against the United States!
I’m so proud of our guys. For Mark and myself, it’s been a long 16-year journey from the last time we were at the Olympics. It wasn’t the medal we came to Beijing for, but this one means just as much. There’s only a handful of people who can say they’ve won an Olympic medal, and we’ve been able to do it twice. The two of us have been through so much together. From our humble roots at juniors to entering the men’s game and representing our province of Newfoundland & Labrador with pride. We’re like brothers, and we’d do anything for each other. I can’t even put into words what it means to be at the Olympics with him again. Through thick and thin, we’ve always had each other’s backs.
2022 Olympic bronze-medallists Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker. (Photo, Curling Canada/Stephen Fisher)
For Brett and Geoff, well, I couldn’t be any more proud of them. When they first joined our team, it was with the long-term goal of being here, at this moment, competing for a medal at the Olympics. About 10 years ago they joined us, and they were just young guys at the time. They were pretty fresh out of juniors and still learning all of the ins and outs of curling at a high level in men’s and in life. Look at them now. Geoff is married and has a kid, and Brett will be married this summer. So much has changed since this journey began, and we’ve cherished it all. I couldn’t ask for a better front end, and I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished this week. They’re going to remember this experience for the rest of their lives.
We’ve had an incredible support team around us all week long. There’s coach Jules, who is without question one of the greatest curling coaches of all time. It’s no coincidence that you’ve seen him part of teams – both Kevin Martin’s and myself – that have found success at so many Briers and international events, including the Olympics. For him to be here with us in Beijing at 77 years old is nothing short of incredible. Jeff Thomas has been part of our crew for years and there’s no one else I trust more in that support role. He’s been critical in our success in team practices and there isn’t a more technically-sound guy out there.
And then there’s Marc Kennedy. Even though we’re rivals when he curls with Brad Jacobs, he did not hesitate at the chance to join us this week as our alternate and contribute to our team. Marc really gets it. He gets where curling is going and he can see the big picture. Even though he wasn’t here with his team, he wanted to do everything to make sure Canada came home with a medal with this.
Jeff Stoughton and Scott Pfeifer are also here behind the scenes as the national coach and team leader. They’ve both been really solid in helping us with everything we need off the ice. Whether that’s getting us to where we needed to go, cracking a joke at the right time, or keeping us occupied between games (Scott’s VR system definitely helped with that!), they’ve been instrumental.
We’ve battled through so much adversity this week and even though we didn’t play our best at time, we came through when it mattered most. It might not have been the medal Canada hoped for. But I hope you’re proud of us!
Click to read at Curling Canada: https://www.curling.ca/blog/2022/02/18/beijing-2022-blog-29/