As a curler myself I jumped all over the chance to photograph the curling event at the Manitoba Special Olympic Games. Even better, it was being held at the Grain Exchange Curling Club – somewhere I have never curled. I’ve curled at the majority of clubs in the city thanks to participating several times in the MCA Bonspiel (the world’s largest and longest running bonspiel), but never at the Grain Exchange. Most years the Wonderful Wedding Show and the MCA Bonspiel are held on the same weekend, so I cannot play in all my teams games. As luck would have it I never made it to the “Grain X” as they call it. Oh I’ve heard stories of how bad it was – moguls on the ice from a leaky roof, etc. With it being set to be demolished after this season I was at least glad I was going to see inside of it. That, and the fact the windchill was something like -42 in the morning and I was sure as heck glad I was not scheduled to cover snow shoeing or cross country skiing!
I will say the Grain X was the COLDEST curling rink I have ever been in! It was absolutely freezing in there! But I was at least out of the wind. Of course, being the smart aleck that I am that didn’t stop me from calling the photographer who organized the entire event to complain about how cold it was at the rink (he was covering the snow shoe competition – HEHE!). I left a message and he had to call me back because the phone was under something like 5 layers of clothing and he couldn’t get to it right away. So when he called back and started saying how cold it was outside I of course got into how cold it was in the Grain X…. that I actually had to put on gloves to photograph! Somehow I sensed he didn’t seem to feel too sorry for me. Well, maybe the fact that I said I was going to head up to the bar for a drink to warm myself up “might” have had something to do about how little he cared about how cool my fingers were…or at least I guessed that because the 42KM wind was howling something awful into the phone and I could hardly hear a word he was saying….. 🙂
Here’s an assortment of what took place at the 2011 Manitoba Special Olympic Curling Competition at the Grain X in Winnipeg: