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MANITOBA OPEN: A Chance to Play an Olympian

Monday Dec 22 2014

Participants in the 2015 Manitoba Open Bonspiel are advised to take ‘very seriously’ their game against the team recently entered from the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club, which includes two players from San Francisco and two from the Lake Tahoe Curling Club. Under the bonspiel’s new ‘Open’ format, implemented a year ago, the team is skipped by Edith Loudon Hazard. The skip will be the first-ever female curling-Olympian to compete in the world’s largest and longest-running annual curling event.

Ms. Loudon Hazard’s credentials are impressive. She played in the 1998 Olympics in Japan as third for the Great Britain Kirsty Hay team which finished fourth in the standings before losing the bronze medal game to Sweden’s Elisabet Gustafson. She was chosen to join Jackie Lockhart’s 2002 Scottish team and was the alternate on the team which won the world gold medal at the worlds in Bismarck, ND. The next year, she was the skip of the Scottish Women’s champion team and Jackie Lockhart joined her team as alternate for the Ford Worlds in Winnipeg.

Ms. Loudon Hazard’s international record includes 107 games (58 Wins-49 Losses) at eight European and six world championships as well as the Olympic Games.

Locals who meet the California team on the ice during the bonspiel may hope that her skills have faded slightly since her move to California few years ago – but don’t count on it.

Team member Jay Diamond, the Manitoba-born California distributor for Asham Curling Supplies, says “we’re seriously just delighted to come, get in some good curling and good times. That said, I think we can win a few games against some good competition.”

Diamond’s name shows up on the entry form as the team lead with Richard Lazarowich at second, Eric Hazard at third, and Edith Loudon Hazard as the skip.  Despite being from Manitoba originally, Diamond says you won’t be able to identify him as the player with the ‘Manitoba-tuck’. That will be Richard Lazarowich, one of the rare few players to adopt the toe-slide style of delivery despite not learning to curl in Manitoba.

The opportunity to compete against the team from California is a unique one for participants in the Manitoba Open Bonspiel, and might be considered one of the ‘prizes’ available to all teams along with all members of all teams having a chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas or participate in a Draw to the Button for a Nott Autocorp $50,000 luxury vehicle.

The Manitoba Open Bonspiel is open to the first 256 teams of any gender or age and the HalfSpiel welcomes the first 64 teams. The countdown reminder on curlmanitoba.org indicates that approximately about 90 entry spaces are left in the Manitoba Open. Entry space is also still available in the HalfSpiel.

Go to www.curlmanitoba.org for complete details or to enter the January 15-19 event.



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