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Firefighting Curling champion basks in glory, says “doesn’t know how many he’s got left”

Campbell River’s Dean Thulin’s 11th championship appearance brought him first win since 2010
Led by skip Dean Thulin, far left, Team B.C. won the Canadian Firefighters Curling Championship, Thulin’s first since 2010. Photo courtesy of Campbell River Professional Firefighters Association/Rick Euper/Facebook

If you ask Dean Thulin, being victorious in any sport all comes down to consistency.

In fact, ask the Campbell River based skip how his team won the Canadian National Firefighting Curling Championship, he’ll base it strictly on mettle.

“We thought and felt we had a really good chance going in,” said Thulin, who was playing in his 11th Canadian championship having won back in 2010. “We’ve been there before, we’ve done it before. When we play our game, usually good things happen.”

READ MORE: Campbell River blind curling team takes second place at western championships

Led by Thulin and third Ken Dawson, also from Campbell River, the team was joined by Summerland’s Rob Robinson, and rounded out by Kevin Maxwell of Victoria. In all, the group has been playing curling together since 2017.

“Ken and I have known Kevin from when he was a kid. He grew up here,” said Thulin. “When he had just go onto a fire department in Victoria, we gave him a call to see if he wanted to join up.”

Winning the Provincial Bonspiel, Thulin’s rink advanced to the championship, held in Charlottetown from March 24 to April 1. One of the highlights of the tournament for Thulin in the P.E.I capital was the emphasis the Canadian Firefighters Curling Association (CFFCA) placed on camaraderie.

“The nationals are really special and unique,” said Thulin. “In fact, starting from the first day of curling, they put two provinces, or a province and a territory together. Those two have to supply a meal from their home, with a different two every day of the championship. So each night, the chef prepares a meal from a different part of the country.”

The rink then went through the round robin with a 7-2 record, only losing to both rinks representing Northern and Southern Ontario. Beating Alberta in the semi, they then faced the Northern Ontario rink a second time, and prevailed 8-6 to take the gold home.

“They went undefeated. They only lost once, and that was to us,” said Thulin. “This one meant a lot, we’re all getting older. I don’t know how many more championships we’ll have left. This one was special.”

Still, Thulin says his rink plans to defend their title next February.

“We’ll be going again next year at the Tunneltown curling club in Tsawwassen,” said Thulin. “Absolutely, we intend to be there.”

Edward Hitchins

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