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Sandra Schmirler - Canada And Curling

Famous Sports StarsOther SportsSandra Schmirler Biography - Building Skills And A Team, World Champions, First Olympic Gold, Fight Of Her Life

Canada and Curling

Schmirler, who had guarded her privacy carefully when she first became ill, had reappeared in the public eye in the weeks just before her death. She had agreed to provide color commentary for the 2000 Canadian juniors' curling championships, as well as the Scott Tournament of Hearts and the Labatt Brier, the men's championships, although her failing health allowed her only to do the first, the juniors' championships. There, on February 11, she gave an emotional press conference to discuss her battle. "I now know that losing a curling game isn't the end of the world," she said, speaking also of the importance of spending time with her family.

Awards and Accomplishments

1993-94, 1997 Rink wins Canadian championships
1993-94, 1997 Rink wins world championships
1997 Rink places first in Canadian Olympic qualifiers
1998 Rink wins gold medal in Olympics
1998 Rink named Team of the Year by the Canadian Press
1999 Inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame

As an article in the Bergen County, New Jersey, Record recalling the life of Schmirler put it, she was "survived by a husband, two daughters, Canada, and curling." Canada as a nation certainly felt itself bereaved. In death as in life, Schmirler was treated like a queen by her country: All across Canada flags flew at half-staff, a national television station broadcast her memorial service live, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was planning a television movie based on her life. The curling world also held several tributes to Schmirler. The first day of the Scott Tournament of Hearts has been permanently declared Sandra Schmirler Day, and the remnants of Schmirler's gold-medal winning rink threw a ceremonial stone in her honor to the sound of Scottish bagpipes on the Olympic ice in Utah in 2002. The Canadian Curling Association and Schmirler's friends and family also came together to create a permanent tribute, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, which raises money to help the families of children with serious illnesses.

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