Great stories from Cathy G

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EDMONTON – The Canadian Curling Association announced their next round of Hall of Fame inductees today, and yesterday we mentioned one of them in a blogpost.

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Cathy Gauthier of Winnipeg is in as a three-time Canadian (STOH) champion: as second for Connie Laliberte in 1992 and 1995 and as lead for Jennifer Jones (photo) in 2005.

That 2005 season was remarkable, as Gauthier left the broadcast booth and returned to the ice wars when TSN lost the curling contract to CBC... but less than a year later, she had left team Jones and curling again and, of course, TSN was back in the sport. Funny, that.

Others inducted in the athlete category are Anne Dunn, Lindy Marchuk, Gloria Campbell and Vicki Lauder, all of them accomplished Canadian and World Senior champions (Dunn, Marchuk and Campbell just won senior silver here in Edmonton last weekend).

Off the ice, Tom Fry of Fort Frances, Ontario was named Volunteer of the Year; Marilyn Barraclough of Black Diamond, Alberta and Winnipeg’s Arnold Asham were selected to receive the Award of Achievement; Ed Zemrau of Edmonton and Les Harrison of Moncton were chosen as the recipients of the President’s Recognition Award; and Katherine Johnston of Morrisburg, Ontario was selected to receive the Ray Kingsmith Award.

Tomorrow’s Winnipeg Free Press story by Paul Wiecek might mention a couple of standout memories from Gauthier’s career.

The first is her most fond: in a game against Japan at the 1995 Ford Worlds in Brandon, Laliberte made a great freeze in the ninth end, and as the crowd cheered, the Japanese team laid down their brooms and joined in the applause. They had no other way of communicating their acknowledgement of an amazing curling shot.

The second is her most difficult: Gauthier acknowledges that her team’s loss in that 1995 final to Sweden’s Elisabet Gustafson is something she has never been able to work through. Gustafson stole the 10th and 11th ends to leave Gauthier with a memory which no psychologist has ever been able to exorcise. And never will.

Here’s to Cathy G, on her special day.