When the temperature drops, Manitobans are more active than ever. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hockey...but without a doubt, curling is the king of winter pastimes. Here are the top 5 reasons we claim Manitoba as Canada's Curling Capital:
5) Asham is to curling as Nike is to basketball. This Winnipeg-based manufacturer continues to revolutionize the sport by engineering high-performance equipment coveted by curlers around the globe. From shoes and apparel to brooms and sliders...if it's worn on the ice, Asham is all over it.
4) We boast an impressive pedigree of world curling champions: Jennifer Jones, Jeff Stoughton, Kerry Burtnyk, Connie Laliberte, Don Duguid. It must be something in the water...rather, ice.
3) The Granite Curling Club is the oldest, and most lavish, curling club in the West. The "mother club" formed in 1880 and relocated in 1912 to the stately Tudor Revival-style building it currently calls home. This rink-which looks plucked from the English countryside-was built across the street from the Manitoba Legislature (proof that curlers have just as much stature as politicians in this town!)
2) We still play it outdoors. Curling evolved from frozen rivers to indoor rinks almost a century ago...except in Winnipeg. Every winter, diehards organize the al fresco Ironman Curling Bonspiel and throw rocks in the name of a local charity. It takes place on the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail at The Forks National Historic Site.
1) Quantifiable evidence of our deep-rooted obsession: In 1950, Manitoba had more curling clubs than Quebec and Ontario combined.