Gauthier makes his mark on West Coast cobbles – Winnipeg Free Press

A day before landing a spot at this year’s Brier, Jacques Gauthier was in a hospital hooked up to an IV.

Illness forced the 24-year-old from Winnipeg, who is now skipping a rink in Victoria, to miss Saturday morning’s 1-on-2 playoff game in Chilliwack at the BC Men’s Provincial Curling Championship.

“Everywhere in Chilliwack there was a little bug going around,” Gauthier told the Free press Monday.

Amanda Wong / Curl B.C.

Jacques Gauthier was so ill Saturday that he was in the hospital with an IV while his teammates played the 1-2 game at the BC Men’s Provincial Curling Championship in Chilliwack.

“We had dinner with the family on Friday then went back to the AirBnB and I didn’t feel well. For the next nine to ten hours, it was just constant. I couldn’t even drink water and keep it in my body. Not only was I worried about playing, but I was worried about whether or not I could leave the house.

Gauthier hasn’t slept all night. To even have a chance of playing in a possible Sunday final, he was recommended to see a doctor in order to get fluids in his system. He ended up spending Saturday afternoon at a local hospital.

Luckily for Gauthier, third Sterling Middleton, second Jason Ginter and lead Alex Horvath stood out without him as they picked up an 8-3 win over Vernon’s Jim Cotter. They made sure they had a piece of Gauthier with them for the game by displaying their captain’s throwing broom behind the sheet.

“I only found out after the game…I got a little choked up after hearing that because to me it kind of shows what I mean to them and obviously what they mean to me too” , said Gauthier.

“And you know, sometimes the captain gets a little too much credit. Our team is nothing without the three guys in front of me.

Gauthier, who led a Manitoba team to gold at the 2020 World Junior Curling Championship, wasn’t feeling 100% on Sunday, but he rallied and guided the group to an 8- 5 over Brent Pierce of Kelowna in the final. With the win, Gauthier will represent British Columbia at the 2023 Brier in London, Ont., in March.

“The Brier is what I’ve always looked at. Even when I was in high school don’t tell my mom (Cathy Gauthier) but I would skip class if there was a good game like it was Kevin Koe playing Brad Gushue or something I would leave a bit early to try to catch the end of it,” Gauthier said.

“Or at work, not now of course, but when I had different jobs over the years, I was streaming games. I love the Brier. That’s all everyone plays for. It’s one of the oldest things in curling and I think it’s the greatest thing we have in Canada for the sport. Playing in front of potentially thousands of people live and hopefully hundreds of thousands of people streaming overseas is something hard to conceptualize right now.

This is Gauthier’s first year out of BC and only his second since leaving the junior ranks. Last season he raced with third Jordan Peters and second Brayden Payette, with whom he won the world junior championships, and Cole Chandler in the lead. Payette decided this past offseason to take a step back from the sport, leading Gauthier to explore his options.

An opportunity with Middleton and Ginter presented itself as their previous captain, Gauthier’s first cousin, two-time junior world champion Tyler Tardi, signed on to play third for Koe.

Middleton contacted Gauthier and the rest is history. They didn’t start the year well, but are now ranked 16th in the nation with a combined 29-21 record.

“For me, I have to be honest, it’s going to be a little weird to wear BC colors at the Brier. Growing up, it was always my dream to wear Manitoba colors at the Brier, but that doesn’t make it any less special,” said Gauthier.

“We just want to make ourselves proud and make the province proud. We’re a young team, so I don’t know what to expect with our first Brier, but I think we can be competitive.

End of the Manitoba Open tournament

The Manitoba Open tournament ended Monday at the Fort Garry Curling Club. Three teams from the event earned spots for the Viterra Championship (February 7-12) in Neepawa. The teams are Justin Reynolds (ASHAM) of Winnipeg Beach, Joey Witherspoon (Original 16) of Assiniboine and Richard Muntain of the Granite Curling Club (Nott Autocorp).

[email protected]

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen

Eighteen-year-old and still in high school, Taylor made his Free Press debut on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of…

Comments are closed.