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

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

RV habitation once again a discussion topic for TNRD

“I don’t imagine for a moment that we’ve heard the last of the RV issue”

Man brought up on three charges after holding tow truck driver at knifepoint in Lac la Hache

The suspect produced a knife and held the driver against his will for upwards of 45 minutes

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read