"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Sandra Schmirler

06 Apr 2002

It has become somewhat of a cliché, but my memory of Sandra Schmirler is of her on television, at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. It's about 1 in the morning, and even though it's a work night, I'm up, watching a curling game half a world away. The apartment is dark except for the brilliant white glow from the TV. If you closed your eyes, you'd hear this:

"Hurry! HURRY! HURRY! HARD!!!"
(pok)
"That's ok."
"Yeah."

Even now I'm not sure why it was so compelling to watch. The men's games didn't interest me a bit, but when the women's team played, you had no choice but to watch. And before you knew it, it was 2:30 a.m., and there was that dread knowledge that come morning, you'd be paying for it.

Atina Ford (Alt), Marcia Gudereit (lead), Joan McCusker (2nd), Jan Betker (3rd), and Schmirler went on to win the first Olympic gold medal for curling. Here they are.

Photo: CP

I wonder what Sandra was thinking when the picture was taken.

Related Sites

The Saskatchewan Curling Centre
Sandra Schmirler Gallery
Globe And Mail Obituary
CBC Obituary (With links to video clips)