Sandra Schmirler - First Olympic Gold
First Olympic Gold
Those wins in 1997 made Schmirler's rink the Canadian favorite going into the 1998 Olympics, the first Olympics at which curling would be an official medal event. Schmirler's rink won the Canadian Olympic trials in November 1997, beating nine other teams for the chance to represent Canada in Nagano, Japan. Schmirler's infant daughter, Sara, and her second husband, Shannon England, remained at home in Regina, Saskatchewan while Schmirler flew to Japan to compete. Schmirler's rink defeated Denmark to win the Olympic gold, and it was her shot in the final, tenth end (or inning) that clinched the victory. She said that when she returned to Canada, she was going to hang her gold medal over Sara's crib. "She had to sacrifice as much as I did. She didn't know it, that's all," Schmirler explained to Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press.