Brad Gushue’s victory Sunday preceded the saddest part of every Brier, when the icemakers start chipping out the hacks, the bumpers and the pristine ice sheets.
Gushue’s team looked to be the best all week while marching toward a second straight crown.
It was a pretty fine week of curling. The level of shot-making has never been higher, but there seems to be fewer elite rinks capable of winning Canadian championships. As years go by the crowds are getting older and smaller.
Curling clubs are closing across the country. The effort to upgrade Canada’s elite curlers has paid off internationally, but the feeder system is fading.
Curling Canada has programs intended to replenish the system with young curlers, recreational and competitive curlers. Nurturing the grassroots of the sport is vital if the Brier is going to continue being such a memorable event.