This is pretty much what I was like leaving the arena Tuesday night:
Thankfully I did manage to get some sleep pretty easily. We’ve been doing a lot of walking, and the beer didn’t hurt either. Nevertheless, we were up early and wolfed down a quick breakfast before heading off to the arena.
We got there just as the teams were warming up. Team Muirhead was playing Team Paetz, and Team Sidorova was playing Team Feltscher…those were the two games we were focusing on. Team Edin was playing Team Bottcher, and Team Jennifer Jones was playing Team Nedohin as well. I took a lot of pictures.
Muirhead played well, but Paetz made some great shots and won. We tried to see if we could get some pictures or autographs after the match, but they got out of there pretty quickly.
We had decided beforehand to skip on the draw at noon, so we walked back towards our hotel. It started raining pretty steadily and we got slightly soaked. We had also decided to pick up some flags to help us cheer for our favorite non-Canadian teams, and the two (yes, there are two) flag stores near our hotel were closed, so we were checking out some stores nearby to see what we could find. No luck. After some lunch we went back to our room to dry off and catch a quick nap.
Luckily the rain had mostly let up in the afternoon, so we set out for the late afternoon draw. On the way we saw that the flag store was open! We picked up two Scotland flags, as well as a Russian and a Swedish flag.
Team Sidorova was playing Team Nedohin, Team McEwen was playing Team Bottcher, Team Homan was playing Team Tirinzoni, Team Edin was playing Team Koe, and Team Michel was playing Team Gushue. The Sidorova-Nedohin game was closest to us, followed by McEwen, so those were the two we saw best. We were used to all the action by this point though, so we had a much easier time paying attention to other matches.
As the matches were winding down, we made our way closer to the ice to get some autographs and photos. The Sidorova-Nedohin game was still going on on the close sheet, so as the players were leaving the ice there wasn’t time for any pictures really. Neil got autographs from Mike McEwen, and all of Team Gushue. We wanted to try and get an autograph from or a picture with Team Homan, but they were clearly in a bit of a hurry and we didn’t want to be bothersome. Sidorova won, and I did manage to get a quick picture with her afterwards.
We also managed to meet all of Team Edin, which was really cool.
We left the arena to grab some dinner. We ate quickly, as there wasn’t too much time before the next draw. Funny thing though, as we were walking back I saw these four women wearing matching jackets, and I noticed they all had Team GB backpacks on. I quickly realized that Team Muirhead was walking right in front of us! It was still drizzling and windy, so while we were all waiting at a stoplight I leaned forward and said “Why’d you guys bring this weather with you?” Vicki Adams turned around and laughed. Anna Sloan turned around, smiled, and just said “It’s sunny in Scotland.” After that we walked inside and went our separate ways. I contemplated asking them for a picture once we got inside, but they had a big game coming up and I didn’t want to screw with their routine.
Team Muirhead was playing Team Jennifer Jones on the close sheet to us tonight. There aren’t necessarily rivalries in curling, but I think it’s safe to say that this pairing comes close. Of course, the majority of the crowd was going to be cheering for Jones, so we had to make sure our allegiance was known beyond just cheering.
Honestly, I was so focused on this match I wasn’t paying much attention as to what was going on on the other sheets. The match started out close, Muirhead had hammer but gave up a steal of 1 in the first end. The second end you could clearly see that it was weighing on her mind a bit.
Ultimately Muirhead had to make an angle raise to score one, which she executed beautifully.
So, it was tied up 1-1 after two ends. In the third end though, Jones made several mistakes and has some misses, so Muirhead was able to steal 3. Jones had some more mistakes and misses in the fourth end, ultimately allowing Muirhead to steal 2. Here’s Anna Sloan making a great double takeout shot in that end.
Muirhead held Jones to 1 in the fifth end, and scored 3 in the sixth end to make it 9-2. At that point it was handshakes and game over. Neil and I quickly made our way down to the ice, and grabbed a spot in the corner. Eve and Anna were signing autographs and taking pictures, and I managed to get a picture with Eve.
As any of you who know me, or who read my blog posts on here know, Eve Muirhead is my favorite curler. To say that getting to meet her (even if only for a minute) was a big deal for me is an understatement. Neil got a picture with Anna Sloan too.
All in all it was a great day…to say the least.
Phil Darin is Windy City’s resident armchair curler who even plays from time to time. He often loses on the ice, but he always wins at broomstacking. Would you like to hear more about curling, whisky, or gambling? Are you Eve Muirhead?
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