Team Wild Card skip Mike McEwen, middle, reacts with teammate second Derek Samagalski as they play Team Manitoba in the championship pool at the Brier in Kingston, Ont., on Thursday, March 5, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Curling Canada athletes opt for traditional handshakes instead of suggested fist bumps

Handshaking remained the norm on the ice before and after Tim Hortons Brier games

Traditional handshakes still rule at the Tim Hortons Brier despite a Curling Canada suggestion for athletes to bump fists at this week’s national men’s curling championship.

The eight teams left in the field were asked by the federation on Thursday to consider using the closed-fist gesture instead, part of a reminder for players to remain vigilant about their health.

Handshaking remained the norm on the ice before and after games, even during flu season and amid heightened public concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As of Thursday evening, Ontario health officials have confirmed 23 known cases of COVID-19 in the province.

The annual Brier competition has remained business as usual for curlers, almost all of whom opted for regular handshakes before Thursday’s draws. A few players wore competition gloves and only a couple curlers opted for fist bumps or forearm taps.

ALSO READ: B.C. premier, health officials unveil response plan for COVID-19

“I go with whatever makes the other person comfortable,” said Alberta’s Darren Moulding. “I’m comfortable with handshakes. I wash my hands a lot. I’m not too worried, but with what’s going around maybe that’s something we have to look at.

“I’m not an alarmist-type guy. I just try to maintain good hygiene and I think most of the curlers do that.”

Curling stone handles were treated with a commercial-grade sanitizer before the competition, a Curling Canada spokesman said in an email. The treatment, which lasts two weeks, was done a second time Thursday as a precaution.

In pre-competition team advisories, Curling Canada reminded players to be vigilant on the health front. Bottles of hand sanitizer are also kept on coaching tables at ice level.

ALSO READ: Shed handshakes for smiles and foot taps to avoid COVID-19 risk: doctor

Newfoundland and Labrador skip Brad Gushue said he’s comfortable with traditional player handshakes.

“I think we should continue because we had to go do autograph sessions where we’re shaking hands with hundreds of people,” Gushue said. “I think that was probably a misstep on Curling Canada’s behalf to put us in that vulnerable a situation. But for the players to shake hands, I think if we’re willing to do that we could still do it.

“Obviously you’ve got to make sure you do your due diligence and wash your hands and make sure you’re covering your coughs. All that stuff, that’s important. I think all the players realize that.”

The Brier continues through Sunday.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

College of the Rockies launches new Student Emergency Help Fund

Contributions from College communities welcomed to support students financially impacted by COVID-19

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

Easter bunny to send ambassador to Golden for weekend drive-by

The Easter bunny will be sending his emissary, Egglebert Bunny, to celebrate Easter with Golden

Frustrated MLA begs out of province visitors to stay home

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok doesn’t understand why people aren’t listening to good advice

Golden Facebook group attracts 400 volunteers looking to help during COVID-19

The group, which was created on March 15, has already amassed over 400 volunteers

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read