Nichols takes Olympic dream west

Staff ~ The Telegram
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He’s moving to Winnipeg to curl full-time with Stoughton

Nichols was the long-time third for Brad Gushue-skipped teams, but will throw lead stones for, and bring strong sweeping skills to, Jeff Stoughton’s Winnipeg-based rink. — Canadian Press file photo

Mark Nichols is returning to curling on a full-time basis in the fall.

However, it won’t be with 13-year teammate Brad Gushue. And it won’t be in this province.

The 2006 Olympic gold medal-winner has decided to relocate to Winnipeg, where he’ll join Jeff Stoughton’s curling rink.

“I realized that I still have a bit of game left in me and that I still want to play,” Nichols told the Winnipeg Free Press.

“It took me a long time to make this decision... but it’s a chance to get back playing and get playing with someone who’s pretty good too.”

Prior to the 2011 Brier, Nichols announced he would take a break from competitive curling to focus on his career and family.

He returned to the ice this spring when two-time world champion Stoughton asked him to throw lead stones for his team at The Players Championship in Summerside, P.E.I., this after Stoughton and long-time lead Steve Gould parted ways.

Rather than return to his Team Gushue position as third stone, Nichols will continue to throw the first two rocks for Stoughton and company (Reid Carruthers throws second stone and Jon Mead is the rink’s mate).

“I will do anything these guys want to make this team and make this team work,” Nichols told the Free Press. “If that means throw up a couple of guards and then sweep my ass off, that’s what I will do.”



Organizations: Winnipeg Free Press

Geographic location: Winnipeg, Summerside

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Recent comments

  • ALAN
    June 08, 2012 - 12:07

    Good job mark welcome back it a good choice not to go back with brad a last you won't have to babysit brad I think brad need to learn how to be a team player and should go to pre-school learn how to act

  • john
    June 08, 2012 - 08:33

    Maybe Gushue could aquire the services of Shawn Adams who moved to NF over a year ago from N.S. Perhaps then he wouldn't be considered an import. Shawn is a very good curler. All the best Mark.

  • Matthew
    June 07, 2012 - 14:14

    Gushue made Nicols.......Mark would have been nowhere without Brad. However, maybe a job at Tim's in Manitoba might do Mark good. Get a job Mark, get a job.

  • Denise
    June 07, 2012 - 11:04

    Congrats Mark! Looking forward to watching you with Jeff Stoughton. As for all the traitor comments. GET OVER IT!

  • James
    June 07, 2012 - 09:52

    Shari....I kind of agree with Dan. At 32 years of age, its time Mark got a real education and job and prepare himself and family for the real world instead of trying to 'one up' someone else.

  • Margaret
    June 05, 2012 - 19:26

    Oops, David, my oversight. You do live in NL because you said "put THIS place and its baggage behind you..." I'm sure Mark's home in his heart will always be NL no matter where his future endeavours take him.

  • Margaret
    June 05, 2012 - 19:06

    David, I agree that Mark deserves "congratulations" and I do wish him all the best in his future with this decision. However, David, I don't think the rest of your comment was necessary. You must not live in NL.

    • David
      June 05, 2012 - 21:20

      No one's comment is 'necessary'. But they're permitted, and I made mine and I'm perfectly happy with it. You should just make yours. of the wonderful things about Newfoundland that Mark will surely miss is not being clear on what his opinion should be on all's great here!

  • Dan
    June 05, 2012 - 17:36

    Mark really needs to get a career and life. He failed miserably at trying politics in the last provincial election and he now realizes his name didn't do much after the olympics. I could care less who he plays for. Go on by, go on.

    • Shari
      June 06, 2012 - 13:28

      Dan I think it is you who needs to get a life. Mark is only 32 years old and has been curling competitively for the past 16 years – so it’s pretty understandable he decided to take a year off and find out what else there is in the world if whether it was politics, or personnel training. I am pretty sure 6 years ago when those boys brought home the first Gold medal in men’s curling you were quite proud of them & the attention it brought to your great province. You should be ashamed of yourself because this is someone’s brother, son, nephew, cousin, friend – would you like it if someone said things about someone you know? *just let me be known – I don’t know Mark & I don’t live in NFLD but watching him all these years he seems like a great, down to earth guy who DOESN’T use his name to get by in the world*

  • Matthew
    June 05, 2012 - 15:09

    I can still remember them arriving at St john's airport after their gold medal winMark let my boy touch his gold medal. A real class act. Good for mark and I'll be cheering for team Stoughton this year!

  • David
    June 05, 2012 - 14:57

    Congratulations! Great decision, put this place and its baggage behind you, and start enjoying life among the living.

  • Jack
    June 05, 2012 - 13:47

    Don't know what all the fuss is about, and the derogatory remarks are ridiculous. Curlers are free agents and as such, free to move wherever they choose. Kennedy & Morris moved from Ontario to play with Martin, as did Hebert from Saskachewan. Simmons left Sask to play in Alb with Koe, it happens all the time. As for the BS regarding Howard winning the Gold in Torino, that's what it is, BS. One player does not make a team, ask Crosby, Ovechkin and many others. All the best Mark, hope it all works out for you and Collette.

  • John
    June 05, 2012 - 10:58

    Way to go Mark!! May you take home many for titles for Canada. Can't blame you in the least for ignoring Gushue. All the best.

  • Peggy
    June 05, 2012 - 10:50

    Good Luck, Mark. I hope that every aspect of your life works out well in your new home city.

  • Mark D
    June 05, 2012 - 10:46

    Very good to hear he is coming back to the game! He is a fine athlete and his attitude is just wonderful, putting the team before himself. Brad Gushue could learn more than a few lessons from Mark and Jamie. And he has landed a position on a winning team to boot, something else Brad Gushue cannot boast about.

  • Mike
    June 05, 2012 - 10:26

    I figured this was coming eventually. Mark's wife is from Saskatchewan and this will put them much closer to her home. Mark is not a traitor and neither are any of the other players who move to another province. Some move for work, family commitments, curling, etc. Whatever the reason, it happens all the time. Newfoundlanders just seem to take it more personally. Get over it!

  • Wanda
    June 05, 2012 - 10:17

    Robert, I totally agree. As well, I have always felt, and said, that Russ Howard won the Gold Medal for Canada, not Team Gushue. I'll admit that at that particular time, Gushue had a pretty great team, but he gradually threw them away one by one. Good luck, Mark.

  • Jerome
    June 05, 2012 - 10:06

    Mark, glad to see you returning to the game of Curling. Too bad, though, it's not representing Newfoundland and Labrador. Seeing your comeback is so quickly after announcing you wanted to focus on career and family, it makes one wonder were you just another one of Brad Gushue's "my way or the highway". It's obvious that you made his team because he hasn't done anything much since you left.

  • Cindy
    June 05, 2012 - 10:01

    Good Luck Mark!

  • Robert
    June 05, 2012 - 09:49

    Jack, Gushue has done the exact same thing by bringing in others. Are they traitors? Howard was brought in to win Gold for CANADA. Mark wants to win gold for CANADA. Personally I think this speaks more about Gushue then Nichols, who was known as Brad's closest teammate.

  • Jack
    June 05, 2012 - 09:07

    Mark Nichols now joins two other Atlantic Canadian curlers whom turned their backs on their province and moved west. Beth Iskiw and Laine Peters whom represented Nova Scotia in the past now play for Alberta's Heather Nedohin rink. As such, they are nicknamed the "Two Traitors". And now Mark Nichols has turned his back on Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and joined a team well known for getting rid of good quality Curlers like the Jeff Stoughton rink. Remember what Jeff Stoughton did to Steve Gould, and you'll know why Mark Nichols had made a big mistake.

    • Steve
      June 05, 2012 - 09:56

      So let me get this straight.....if Mark Nichols was a hockey player and he left a crap team for a Stanley Cup winning team, he would deemed as a traitor?? For any professional, you want to win above all else. Call him a traitor if you want, but Mark Nichols sees better potential elsewhere in Canada. When it comes to time for the Olympics, it's NOT Team Newfoundland vs. the world, it's Team Canada.

    • Scotty
      June 05, 2012 - 11:34

      Mark not being able to get along with Brad Gushue (who by the way has 3 curlers on his team not from the province, and another import who just left) and thus moving to Manitoba for a great opportunity to win does not make him a traitor. If Stoughton moved east to curl in Newfoundland or to curl with Gushue, I don't think you would be calling him a traitor. Works both ways, not just when people leave.

  • brad
    June 05, 2012 - 08:03

    bring them strong sweeping skills over and sweep me floor would ya? The wife has been after me all week to get it done.