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WESTLOCK - For many of us who grew up on farms and in small communities across the country, the collective memory of heading out to the local curling rink on any given weekend during the winter to watch or actually curl ourselves, is strong.

It’s a tradition of sorts, as drafty old Quonset huts with two sheets of ice were filled with avid curlers from across any particular area of the country who would gather for weekly bonspiels in a display of community-mindedness and friendly competition that was passed on through the generations.

Howling winds and blowing snow were no match for those avid curlers that made the sport a permanent fixture in their lives. It was a social event, often with a dinner, dance and drinks in the lounge upstairs, where children were forbidden to go after 7 p.m.

Something very similar happened in Westlock last week, but on a much larger scale, as the 2020 Boston Pizza Cup was held at the Rotary Spirit Centre to crown this year’s men’s provincial curling champion.

As far as we can tell, the organizing committee, along with more than 200 volunteers, pulled it off without a hitch, in a testament to what is capable when a group of dedicated community members put their minds and efforts together to pull off what may have once been considered impossible in a town of our size.

Each volunteer was a cog in a well-oiled machine, with each person fulfilling their duties to make the event run smoothly and just because many of them have done it once before doesn’t make it any less commendable or impressive.

And it was just that.

You can’t really appreciate how much work goes into an event of this size and magnitude. Let it sink in. We just hosted 12 teams of what could be described as some of the most skilled curlers in the world. Any one of those teams could have pulled out the victory and earned their way to the Brier to decide the best team in the country.

Some of them could even go on to international competitions, like the Olympics, and become world champions.

The scale of such an event is often lost on us if we’re not directly involved and have the opportunity to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

Everyone deserves praise and kudos for all their work in pulling off this world-class event.





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