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Curling in the Brier is enough to make you sick

Rare is the time Brad Gushue doesn't get sick after the Tim Hortons Brier, coming down after a tough mental and physical 10 days
Rare is the time Brad Gushue doesn't get sick after the Tim Hortons Brier, coming down after a tough mental and physical 10 days - The Canadian Pess/Jonathan Hayward

Brad Gushue’s been in enough Tim Hortons Brier championships — this is his 15th — to know enough not to book anything for a week or so after he gets home from the Canadian championship.

“In all my years going to the Brier, I can only remember a handful of times when I didn’t get sick,” he told The Telegram prior to leaving for Brandon, Man., and the 2019 Brier. “Flu or whatever … it could be anything. You grind so hard for a week, you’re so mentally into it, it’s very rare that I don’t get sick afterwards because we are so physically and mentally run down.”

Granted, it’s not like they’re playing 10 or 12 games of hockey, soccer or basketball in a week, but the combination of mental and physical strain stemming from the Brier can be taxing on the curlers.

“Mental fatigue has an impact, a bigger impact than physical fatigue,” he said.

Gushue usually finds the middle of the week the hardest, with four or five games under the curlers’ belts, but still a ways to go to the end.

“Those are the dog days of the week,” he said. “If you can get through those unscathed, (then) adrenaline and momentum kicks in after that.”


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