Gold-medal win for Elmira man

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Garth Mitchell, Don Shane, Nolan Sims and Elmira’s Allan Dickson pose with their championship cup after winning the Canadian Police Curling Championships. [Submitted]

Retired Waterloo Regional Police officer and a familiar face in Elmira, Allan Dickson, and his curling team have won gold at the Canadian Police Curling Championships.

After making their way through provincials undefeated, they were in the Maritimes Apr. 14-23 representing Ontario.

Dickson says he never anticipated that the team could win it all, but he was happy after the win.

“It was good. You never really expect it. I mean, you hope to, and for us, the last game went really well,” he said.

They lost out in the final at last year’s competition to Saskatchewan, but the team, made up of former officers Garth Mitchell of the RCMP, Don Shane of the Ontario Provincial Police in Hanover, and newcomer Nolan Sims of the Waterloo Regional Police, took out British Columbia in the final game before it even made it to ten ends.

“We shot lights out and it was supposed to be a 10-end game, and they shook hands after six ends. We had them 8-1 by then,” he said.

The 2017 competition was held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and Dickson says the competition was fierce.

“It was really great competition,” he shared. “It was the nationals, so you have to win your province to get there, so it was great.”

The team doesn’t get to practice much with members scattered all over the province, but experience from previous competitions was a big help.

“We are just so far apart,” said Dickson. “This is our fourth year together, though, other than Nolan, and we have won provincials three years in a row.

In 2016, the championships were held in Chilliwack, British Columbia, and outside of the arena, it was warm enough for a game of golf. That wasn’t the case in Fredericton. In fact, the cold weather may have helped Team Ontario’s game.

“We woke up two mornings with snow, five inches on Saturday,” he said. “But that is nice when you are curling in a cement block building that has no insulation and you get that 18 degree weather outside, it can make the ice really wonky, but the ice maker did a phenomenal job, and we had rocks that were only five weeks old, so we had competitive rocks on competitive ice, and it was exceptional.”

Next, the team will be appearing at Team Canada at the 2018 Canadian Police Curling Championships in Calgary.

“We will have the maple leaf on our backs,” he said. “But that is a whole curling season away with a golf season between.”