The Gushue rink poses for a picture in their Team Canada gear at the Abbotsford Curling Club. The team has been training at the ACC since Jan. 15. (Team Gushue Twitter photo)

The Gushue rink poses for a picture in their Team Canada gear at the Abbotsford Curling Club. The team has been training at the ACC since Jan. 15. (Team Gushue Twitter photo)

Olympics men’s curling team training in Abbotsford

Team Gushue has been practising at the Abbotsford Curling Club since Jan. 15 to prep for Beijing

The Canadian men’s curling team has been using the Abbotsford Curling Centre as a base of training operations before heading to Beijing for the Winter Olympics.

Team members Brad Gushue (skip), Mark Nichols (vice-skip), Brett Gallant (second) and Geoff Walker (lead) arrived in Abbotsford on Jan. 15 and have been practising at the ACC ever since.

Kent Bird, the manager of the ACC, stated that he began speaking with the team in early-January to discuss their plans about coming west to travel. The Gushue rink hails from Newfoundland and Labrador and were looking for a location to train to become more acclimatized to a different time zone and also as a way to quarantine to reduce the risks of COVID-19.

The team stated on social media that they have appreciated the hospitality they have received at the ACC and thanked members and the ice makers for their efforts.

Gushue and Nichols both won gold in curling at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. The win was the first-ever gold by an athlete from Newfoundland and Labrador. The Gushue rink has gone on to win the curling world championship in 2017 and the Tim Hortons Brier in 2017, 2018 and 2020.

RELATED: Canada’s Brad Gushue tops Switzerland 7-5 in world men’s championship opener

More recently Gushue won the 2021 Canadian mixed doubles curling championship with Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson.

The Gushue rink qualified for the Olympics with a victory at the 2021 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in St. John’s, Nfld. in November. The team went 7-1 in round robin play and then defeated Ontario’s Team Jacobs 4-3 in the final.

Team Canada opens the Olympics on Feb. 9 when they take on Denmark at 4:05 a.m. Abbotsford time. Canada also takes on Norway (Feb. 10), Switzerland (Feb. 11), Sweden (Feb. 12), the United States of America (Feb. 13), Italy (Feb. 14), China (Feb. 15) and Great Britain (Feb. 17) in round robin play. The playoffs begin on Feb. 17, with the gold medal game set for Feb. 19.

Canada failed to medal in both the men’s and women’s curling tournaments at the 2018 Winter Olympics, but did win gold in the mixed doubles competition.

RELATED: Abbotsford curler celebrates 90th birthday with win

abbotsfordBeijing 2022 Winter GamescurlingOlympicswinter olympics

 

Team Gushue trains inside the Abbotsford Curling Centre in preparation for the Winter Olympics. (Submitted)

Team Gushue trains inside the Abbotsford Curling Centre in preparation for the Winter Olympics. (Submitted)