Gordie Olson is a curler and a very good one. He has been curling since he was 10 years old and he will be 64 years of age this spring. “I started curling on the old rink near where the Farmer’s Market is today” says Olson. Gordie is speaking of the old Terrace Curling Club, which consisted of just 3 sheets of ice (our current club has 6 sheets). It was an old Quanset Hut located behind the Old Civic Center. The Civic Centre burned to the ground in 1971 and the Curling Rink was dismantled shortly thereafter. “The ice was so heavy (meaning that it was difficult to throw it very far) that we had the heave it as hard as we could just to get it down the sheet!” There were often bumps in the natural ice from condensation from the ceiling or other factors back then – it was a far cry from the near perfect, artificial ice that we play on today.
Olson has played twice a week in the evening Men’s leagues for the past number of years at the Terrace Curling Club. He will usually attend 3–4 Bonspiels (tournaments) in and out of town throughout the year as well. “I love the game”, says Gordie. “It’s a lot of fun to get together with your friends and enjoy a friendly game of curling.”
Despite the fact that he is one of the grandfathers of the Men’s league, he is still able to compete with the players that are often 20 – 30 years his junior. “He’s known as the Take-Out King”, says Chad Sallenback, past president of the Terrace Curling Club. Sallenback is referring to Gordie’s ability to remove several of the opponent’s rocks in just one shot. His years as a kid at the old Civic Center on that heavy ice has enabled him to throw some of the hardest rocks in the club and he’s very precise. “Gordie has the ability to clear the front when we need him to”, says teammate Tom Sheasy. In curling, it is important to control the front of the rings, meaning that you want to be able to have your stones in play, not your opponents’. If needed, Gordie can often remove several of the opponent’s rocks with his heavy hitting.
Many people who have never played do not realize the physical demands of the game. We’ve all watched it on TV and they really make it look so simple. Sweeping is a lot harder than it looks and at times it can be very exhausting. Just one stone that is not swept with full effort can make the difference on whether you win or lose a game. Gordie is always there giving it 100% – that’s just the way he is.
Gordie is very fond of the game, he’s met several people over the years and he has garnered many friendships. “It’s nice to get out and play a sport where you can join your teammates and your opponents with a after the game. We are very fortunate to have this fine facility in our town, it’s such a great game and it can be played at any age. You can start at any age and continue on into your senior years”. Olson is right; it can be played at any age. The introduction of ‘Sturling’ has allowed seniors with old bones to continue to participate in the game they love. Sturling is ‘Stick Curling’ (www.sturling.net)
in which the player will use a stick to slide the stone down the ice as opposed to throwing it the usual way. It allows older players with bad knees or hips to continue playing the game they love. The senior’s drop in league is held every Tuesday morning where players can try their hand at curling or Sturling and the cost is only $7.50 and lunch can be bought for $6.
The Terrace Curling Club also hosts a Junior Curling Program held every Monday for Children grades 4 and up. It is a fun league with certified instruction and games, running from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Cost is only $50 and runs for the months of January and February.
For more information on these or any other programs please call the Curling Club at 250-635-5583 or email at info,,,terracecurling.ca