Three-time world curling champion Wayne Middaugh of Brampton, Ontario has retired from competitive men’s curling at the age of 53 according to Vic Rauter of TSN on Saturday. Rauter made the announcement during the qualification game of the 2021 World Women’s Curling Championship between Canada and Sweden. Despite being from Ontario, Middaugh is the coach of Anna Hasselborg’s Swedish team, the reigning Olympic gold medalist in women’s curling from the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Middaugh won a gold medal for Canada as a skip at the 1998 World Men’s Curling Championship in Kamloops, British Columbia. Ironically, Middaugh defeated Sweden’s Peja Lindholm in the final by a score of 7-4. Middaugh also won a gold medal for Canada as a second at the 1993 World Men’s Curling Championship in Geneva, Switzerland, and as a third at the 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland. In 1993, the Canadian skip was Russ Howard of Midland, Ontario. In 2012, the Canadian skip was Russ’s younger brother Glenn Howard of Midland, Ontario.
A major reason for Middaugh’s decision to retire was due to pain in his knee. Middaugh suffered a broken leg while skiing in 2016, which left him with a long metal rod between the ankle and knee. He did however compete for the third wildcard team at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary as an unexpected skip. Middaugh became the skip for Team Howard, due to the fact that Glenn Howard was recovering from a serious snowmobiling accident earlier this year. The Howard team skipped by Middaugh won Pool A with a record of seven wins and one loss, and ended up with a record of eight wins and four losses.