Stride Place is no longer hosting the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials. The event which was due to take place this week was canceled over the holidays due to growing concern of athletes coming into contact with COVID-19. Event chairman Rob Gemmell said disappointment is the only way to describe the situation.
“I wasn’t shocked when I received the information from Curl Canada on Christmas Day,” says Gemmell. “Just the way everything was before as we tried to make sure everything was fine, but it wasn’t that surprising with the way the world is going.”
This was billed as a makeover event for Portage fans as the first time the pandemic shut down the world, Prairie Gold curling events were taking place at Stride Place. Gemmell says they will try to host something of this caliber again, but notes they might wait until the pandemic is behind us.
“Speaking with Curl Canada, they love the site, and it would be something we would consider doing,” Gemmell said. “We joked that once COVID is completely irrelevant, we would consider doing an event again, because Portage and COVID don’t seem to go together.”
The event chair says he feels extremely bad for those who spent long hours setting up the ice and setting things up behind the scenes.
“It took 40 straight hours to put the ice up. So people worked all night to put it up,” Gemmell says. “Everything was ready to go, and it took another five hours to tear it all down the other day. Just the prep work ahead of time, because we’ve been trying for eight months to get things organized, but now everything has to be taken down .”
Gemmell says the only silver lining for him is the fact that things were called off before the event started and not days like last time.