Team White defeats Czech Republic to win world seniors men curling title
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Canada's Team Wade White is on top of the world. The team from the Lac la Biche Curling Club in Alberta won its second world championship at the 2022 World Senior Curling Championships on Saturday at the Geneva Curling Club.
White, vice-skip Barry Chwedoruk, second Dan Holowaychuk, lead George White and team leader Bill Tschirhart defeated Czech Republic's David Sik by a score of 6-3.
Team White last won the gold medal for Canada at the 2018 World Senior Curling Championships in Östersund, Sweden.
"I'm a little choked up because, you know, a guy could pack it in," White said. "You could go out on a win like this. But this is a good feeling. There were a couple of ends there where things were really even. The ice was quicker, so we slid a couple through the house. But once we caught on to the ice, things went well. I feel pretty damn good over it."
The teams were neck and neck throughout the first half of the game. Canada started with hammer and blanked the end. Then Team White was forced to a single point in the second.
The Czech Republic put up a point in the third. Sik attempted following Team White's stone into the house, but it ticked on a Canadian corner guard. However, the rock had just the right weight and line to roll in for shot stone with the help of a little sweeping.
Holowaychuk changed Canada's fortunes in the fourth end by making a double on two Czech rocks in the 12-foot. This shot opened up the end and led to White making a draw for two and a 3-1 lead at the fourth-end break.
The Czech Republic is an up-and-coming curling nation and played in its first-ever World Senior Curling Championship gold-medal game. But the team showed it belonged in the final and picked up a quick deuce in the fifth end to level the score again.
The sixth end was a whirlwind with many chances by Canada to score big and the Czech Republic to limit Canada to one. A Czech Republic player fell while sweeping, burning a stone, and Canada sat four. Sik played a draw on his first and a hit on his second to limit some damage, which meant White could make a draw for two and take a 5-3 lead.
After Sik couldn't land a double takeout, Canada added to the lead in the seventh end, which tacked another point to Canada's total.
Team White was up three without hammer heading to the eighth end and ran the Czech Republic out of rocks for the win.
"It's hard to do," White said of winning the world championship. "It takes a lot of dedication and practice. We've cut it down a lot with age, soreness and hips and all. But you still have to have the dedication to this, so it's nice. I could have got choked up out there once or twice."
It is the first medal of any colour for the Czech Republic at a world senior curling event.
Shortly after the win, Team White was joined on the ice by the family and friends who travelled to Switzerland to support the team. White quickly pointed out that it takes a village to support a team and the importance of sharing these moments for a second time with them.
"In sport, it wouldn't be the same without family and friends. They're huge and there for all of the highs and the lows."
This is Canada's 12th gold medal earned at the world seniors. It also maintains the trend of the Canadian senior men's team playing in every gold-medal game since the event's first run in 2002.
In the men's bronze-medal game, Sweden's Mats Wranå defeated Andy Kapp of Germany by a score of 7-3.
Canada's bid for a third-straight world senior women's championship fell short on Friday. Team Sherry Anderson of the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon lost its qualification playoff game to the United States and missed its spot in the semifinals.
Hometown favourites Switzerland, led by skip Cristina Lestander, won the gold-medal game against Margie Smith of the United States with a 6-5 win.
Scotland's team, skipped by Edith Hazard, earned bronze after defeating Finland's Elina Virtaala by a score of 6-4.