Gushue not giving up on Olympic dream

John Browne
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Making a final decision to commit to another four-year cycle may take some time

It was a case of feast or famine and, in the end, Brad Gushue was left with some lingering hunger pains.
“We played very well in our five wins but we didn’t play well in our three loses,” Gushue said Monday, a day after his Bally Haly Country Club team of Brett Gallant, Adam Casey, Geoff Walker was eliminated at the Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials event in Kitchener, Ont.
Gushue fell 7-5 to reigning Tim Horton’s Brier champ Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie Ont., Sunday.

Skip Brad Gushue (centre) calls to sweepers Brett Gallant (left) and Geoff Walker as opposing skip Brad Jacobs (back) looks on during the Road to the Roar Pre-Trials B final in Kitchener, Ont. on Sunday. Gushue lost 7-5, eliminating him from Olympic contention.

After losing 9-3 to Jacobs in Friday’s B-event semifinal and being relegated to the C-event, Gushue had to win three more games to get another shot at the Norther Ontario skip.

“We went into the final game expecting to play well and, in all fairness, we played pretty well, not as bad as the other two losses,” said Gushue, who basically took the blame for the loss in the final.

“I missed two shots in the fifth end which really cost us,” he said. “If I make one of those we are probably in pretty good shape and I think we end up winning.”

Jacobs and John Morris of B.C., qualified for the final two berths for the Roar Of The Rings tournament in Winnipeg next month to decide Canada’s representatives at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

They’ll join an eight-team men’s field that also includes Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen, reigning Olympic gold-medallist Kevin Martin of Edmonton, 2011 world champ Kevin Koe of Edmonton, 2012 world champ Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., and John Epping of Toronto.

“There were some bright spots for sure,” said Gushue about the team’s overall performance.

“I thought Adam played very well all week and really stepped his game up to another level, which was exciting to see

“Geoff played well, but I thought myself and Brett probably didn’t perform as well as we could. It was really kind of like night and day for us. We had five great games and three poor games to be quite honest.”

A 2006 Olympic gold-medallist, Gushue said he still hasn’t given up the hope on getting back to that level, although he hasn’t made a commitment at this point.

“No, not yet,” he said of the possibility of giving up that dream.

“It’s still too early to say, but I’m still young in terms of curling,” added the 33-year old from St. John’s.

“It’s a little too early answer a day after we lost our shot at Sochi, but my first instinct to is say this isn’t the end.

“Who knows were life is going to take you in four years? It will take some months at least to make another commitment to a four-year run. We need to determine what we’re going to do… what direction.

Gushue said he anticipates “jumping in,” but he added he needs to figure out if he is going to commit the time, money, energy and the time away from family.

He said these days when teams are picked, they are looking at a four-year cycle in terms of commitment.

“I need to talk to my teammates at a certain point to see if they are willing to do that. If everyone is willing, then it’s a no-brainer,” he said.

“That’s kind of the process, but that’s not something that’s going to happen tomorrow, next week or next month. It’s something you probably start discussing at the end of the year.

“We’ve pushed pretty hard over the last couple of years to try and get there. When we formed this team we started without any points and now we’re up to number six in the world. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the trials, but it’s tough to do given the depth in the men’s game in Canada.”

Gushue said the team’s next focus is the Brier.

In the meantime, they are committed to the Canadian Open Grand Slam event at Medicine Hat, Alta., this week

“We were hoping to get through to the trials and that this event would be a good preparation for us.

“Now we kind of have to pull up our socks and play another week, but after that we’re going to take a few weeks off and just relax.”

He said the rink will get back together sometime in December to prepare for this year’s Brier.

Organizations: Roar Of The Rings

Geographic location: Winnipeg, Canada, Sochi Edmonton Penetanguishene Toronto Medicine Hat

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