The curling teams of Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Valerie Sweeting of Edmonton, Alberta won the men’s and women’s events at the 2017 Grand Slam of Curling Tour Tier 1 Challenge in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sunday. For the Gushue and Sweeting curling teams, their victories will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2017 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Ottawa. The winner of the trials will represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
In the men’s final, Gushue’s team hammered Steffen Walstad of Norway 9-1. Gushue’s team got off to a fantastic start as they scored five points in the first two ends en route to the eight point victory.
The Gushue team is clearly the best men’s curling team in the world. They were dominant at the 2017 World Curling Championships in Edmonton and have got off to a fantastic start in 2017-18. Remember that even though Gushue only won his first Brier and World Curling Championship in 2017, he and third Mark Nichols won a gold medal for Canada at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin.
In the women’s final, Sweeting defeated the rising Anna Hasselborg of Sweden 6-5. Both Walstad and Hasselborg were heavy with draws in their respective finals that were the turning points in the matches. For Walstad, it came in the second end which allowed Gushue to steal three points and take a commanding 5-0 lead. For Hasselborg, her heavy draw came in the eighth end which allowed Sweeting’s team to steal a point and generate the narrow one point victory.
The Grand Slam of Curling Tour Tier 1 Challenge is the first of three Grand Slam of Curling events before the 2017 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Ottawa. The second is the Masters of Curling in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan in late October and the second is the National in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in mid-November.