The Wadena Curling Club gave a “golden celebration” on April 6 to welcome the gold medal winners of the Optimist U18 International Curling Championship held in Edmonton March 30 to April 3. Team Saskatchewan was piped-in to rapturous applause by a capacity crowd.
Each member of Team Sask stood to express their gratitude to those who have supported them along the way. Lead Braden Fleischhacker of Humboldt thanked his first curling coach from elementary school, and families and grandparents who came to the games. Skip Mitchell Dales of Melville said that the team “knew right off the top it was going to be tough.” Mitchell Schmidt of St. Walburg, second, acknowledged the support of families, coaches, volunteers and all who have helped each player.
Dustin Mikush admitted that at the age of 12 he was spending so much time at the club that he was given his own set of keys and eventually a job, and was taught how to ice the lanes. The persistence of youth paid off.
“It means a lot to know we have this support,” he said.
“Never did we end up thinking we’d be in the gold medal game, let alone the winner.”
By Andy Labdon