So today's the day that months of craziness finally begins to pay off. As I've mentioned here before and as you might have read, the 2009 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship starts this weekend (Opening ceremonies start at 5 pm on Saturday). And before you ask, yes, 2009 is right, even though it's still 2008. The Mixed is part of the 2009 Season of Champions. They have to move the Mixed to November because the curling schedule is so busy between January and April.
A group of dedicated, some might say crazy, volunteers have been working on this for months trying desperately to get everything in place. And they've done a great job. This isn't me patting myself on the back, by the way. Work and whatnot have prevented me from helping out as much as I might like.
But on Wednesday they began to transform the Arnaitok Arena on Wednesday. So that means they've begun flooding the ice on a regular basis to get a quality that's just right for curling. They've already cut the circles for the rings and painted them. Bunting has gone up to make it a little less like a hockey arena and more work is going to continue today. Score boards, time clocks and booths for major sponsors get put up today. The final work on the ice should be completed this evening.
And this afternoon is when the players begin to fly in. Environment Canada says it's -15 today with a windchill around -27, so that's a nice arctic welcome for the players.
Look, I don't often push stuff on the blog, but if you live in Iqaluit you really ought to swing by. There's going to be some great curling happening. We have a former Brier champion taking part. It's the first time Nunavut has hosted a national sports championship like this, so it's a bit of a big deal.
Plus, it will be fun. Yes, you cynics out there who bemoan every time I mention curling - the sport is fun. And we deliberately kept tickets dirty cheap to encourage people to come out and watch, which means you're getting a deal. A week long pass can be bought at the Royal Bank for $35 (and possibly at the door as well). Tickets for individual draws are $2, except for the opening ceremonies and the play-offs. Tickets for those games are a whopping $5.
We deliberately kept the ticket prices cheap because we want as many people as possible to come out, see some games and hopefully get interested in the sport.
We also have the Learn to Curl program going on at the curling club. It's mostly for kids, but I believe we have clinics for adults going on Tuesday afternoon and Thursday evening. If you're interested, drop me a line and I'll get the right information to you.
I'll be there on and off during the week, and probably taking a few pictures, which I'll put up on the blog.
So come on out. Please?
(From US politics to mixed curling. How's that for whiplash?)
1. Memo from Turner - Mick Jagger
2. You'll be comin' down - Bruce Springsteen
3. Move over Marin - Matthew Good
4. Fame < infamy - Fall Out Boy
5. Sea of love - Tom Waits*