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

Clinton RCMP seeks Citizens on Patrol

Organizer hoping to have enough people to get program started in September

Drive-thru fundraiser wrangles $2,000

Another event is planned for Sept. 7

Tourists returning after slow start to season

After a slow start, tourists are returning to the South Cariboo.

New wildfire springs up north of Clinton; lightning suspected as cause

Fire is not a flare-up of blaze that started on Aug. 1 near 51 Mile Creek

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

Most Read