Tyler Tardi is still sick and nowhere near 100 per cent, but the skip of the defending champion B.C. men’s team at the 2018 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Quebec is feeling much better than his low point earlier in the week.
Then, he was having – ahem – stomach issues combined with a stubborn cough that left him barely upright at times.
Friday at the Club de Curling Grand-Mére, he admitted the stomach issue has been largely overcome; the coughing is still a problem but it’s better, and, oh yes, he’d pulled a stomach muscle from coughing so much.
“Still walking,” he said with a smile. “Still breathing.”
Which pretty much sums up the situation of Tardi’s team of vice-skip Sterling Middleton, second (and brother) Jordan Tardi, lead Zac Curtis and coach Paul Tardi (Tyler and Jordan’s dad).
The team has not been near its best here this week, but has rallied in the late stages of the Canadian Juniors, and thanks to a 5-4 victory over Karsten Sturmay of Alberta (Edmonton) today in an extra end, they’re now set up a family reunion of sorts in Saturday’s semifinals — Tardi and his brother Jordan, who plays second on Team B.C., are cousins with Manitoba’s vice-skip Jacques Gauthier.
“We’ve been struggling a bit, I’m not going to lie,” said Tyler Tardi, 19.
“We’re just hanging in there, and we’ve gotten a bit lucky. That’s the way the sport goes, I guess. But we have a chance, and that’s all we wanted from the start – a chance to be in the playoffs, and mission accomplished.”
Whoever wins Saturday’s semifinal will run into another great team in Sunday’s 6 p.m. gold-medal game — Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan (8-2; Sudbury), who won silver at the 2016 Canadian Juniors and bronze last year in Victoria.
“I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief,” said Manitoba skip JT Ryan. “Like, we’re happy with where we are now, but there’s still more to do.”
The winning teams Sunday will represent Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championships, March 3 to 10 in Aberdeen, Scotland.