The Fantastic Four men's curling team won gold at the World Senior Men's Championship on April 30 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Teammates brothers Wade and George White, Barry Chwedoruk, and St. Albert resident Dan Holowaychuk, are now two-time Senior Men's champions as they also won the 2018 Championships in Sweden.
The World Curling Championships are organized by the World Curling Federation, the governing body for Paralympic and Olympic curling.
"The team played really well," Holowaychuk said. "We did really well with the draw to the button -— we won the hammer every game.
"Some teams, you know that you should have a better chance against, but never [feel] like it’s in the bag," Holowaychuk said of the round robin games. The team defeated Finland, Slovakia, Australia, Turkey, Italy, and the United States before moving on to beat the host Switzerland squad in the quarter-finals and Germany in the semi-finals.
In the gold medal match they beat the Czech Republic team led by David Sik, 6-3. Tied 3-3 after five ends, the Canadians managed to finish strong and shut out the Czechs in the final two ends.
“The competition is getting a little bit stiffer," Holowaychuk said. "We’re getting older, and the guys are getting younger out there.
"The guys that we played in the final from the Czech Republic, that team was 50," said Holowaychuk, who will turn 60 later this year.
Despite the tough competition, the Wade White rink outscored their opponents 90-30 in nine total tournament matches.
Still exciting to win
Holowaychuk, a four-time winner of the Tim Hortons Brier, three-time World Men's Championship winner, and now two-time World Senior Men's Championship winner, said “it’s still exciting to win."
"I’m not going to fire my broom and jump up and down, but when it’s all said and done and it’s over and you’ve won, it’s a really good feeling."
For Holowaychuk, “it’s the game, and then everything else that comes along with it that keeps you going.”
He said the team thoroughly enjoyed their time in Switzerland. “Geneva was awesome, I’d recommend that city for anybody to go see.
"I was a little nervous when they told us we would be taking the public transportation … to the arena everyday [but it was] probably the best thing that ever happened; you got the big windows, you’re meeting people, you see all the sights, you’re going through different areas you wouldn’t see."
Fantastic Four skipper Wade White celebrated turning 60 while the team was in Geneva, and Holowaychuk said, "He had a two-day birthday party over there."
Canada's Women's team fails to make semi-finals
For the women's World Senior Championship, Canada's squad, led by Sherry Anderson, was eliminated by the U.S. team in a close qualification round match, 4-3. Anderson, from Saskatchewan, is a two-time World Senior's Champion herself.
The U.S. team would go on to lose to the Swiss in the Women's gold medal game 6-5.
“If there’s a time to go out on the top, this is it."
The uncertain future for the men's championship squad has been made more complex after Barry Chwedoruk, who stayed in Europe for a family vacation after the tournament, broke his leg in what Holowaychuk described as an "unfortunate accident."
"[I] don’t know how bad it is," Holowaychuk said. "[I'm] not sure what that’ll bring for the future and for the golf season, it’ll be a little delayed for him.”
He added the team is going to give it some time before they make any decisions. "We’re going to do some celebrating for the next little while and who knows.
“The game’s been really good to me. As long as my knees are probably willing to do it, I’ll play again next year."