Team Wild Card skip Mike McEwen, middle, reacts with teammate second Derek Samagalski as they play Team Manitoba in the championship pool at the Brier in Kingston, Ont., on Thursday, March 5, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Curling Canada athletes opt for traditional handshakes instead of suggested fist bumps

Handshaking remained the norm on the ice before and after Tim Hortons Brier games

Traditional handshakes still rule at the Tim Hortons Brier despite a Curling Canada suggestion for athletes to bump fists at this week’s national men’s curling championship.

The eight teams left in the field were asked by the federation on Thursday to consider using the closed-fist gesture instead, part of a reminder for players to remain vigilant about their health.

Handshaking remained the norm on the ice before and after games, even during flu season and amid heightened public concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As of Thursday evening, Ontario health officials have confirmed 23 known cases of COVID-19 in the province.

The annual Brier competition has remained business as usual for curlers, almost all of whom opted for regular handshakes before Thursday’s draws. A few players wore competition gloves and only a couple curlers opted for fist bumps or forearm taps.

ALSO READ: B.C. premier, health officials unveil response plan for COVID-19

“I go with whatever makes the other person comfortable,” said Alberta’s Darren Moulding. “I’m comfortable with handshakes. I wash my hands a lot. I’m not too worried, but with what’s going around maybe that’s something we have to look at.

“I’m not an alarmist-type guy. I just try to maintain good hygiene and I think most of the curlers do that.”

Curling stone handles were treated with a commercial-grade sanitizer before the competition, a Curling Canada spokesman said in an email. The treatment, which lasts two weeks, was done a second time Thursday as a precaution.

In pre-competition team advisories, Curling Canada reminded players to be vigilant on the health front. Bottles of hand sanitizer are also kept on coaching tables at ice level.

ALSO READ: Shed handshakes for smiles and foot taps to avoid COVID-19 risk: doctor

Newfoundland and Labrador skip Brad Gushue said he’s comfortable with traditional player handshakes.

“I think we should continue because we had to go do autograph sessions where we’re shaking hands with hundreds of people,” Gushue said. “I think that was probably a misstep on Curling Canada’s behalf to put us in that vulnerable a situation. But for the players to shake hands, I think if we’re willing to do that we could still do it.

“Obviously you’ve got to make sure you do your due diligence and wash your hands and make sure you’re covering your coughs. All that stuff, that’s important. I think all the players realize that.”

The Brier continues through Sunday.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Crash snarls early morning Malahat traffic

Incident backed up commuters near Okotoks Drive

Three rescued after canoe capsizes near Oak Bay

Private vessel finds canoe, brings people ashore

COVID-19: Access school resources with new virtual education hub

Shaw and EVERFI create online learning resource for Canadian youth

Greater Victoria charities organize physically distanced tent, sleeping bag drive

Neighbourhood Response Team accepts sleeping bags, mats and tents Saturday in Victoria

West Shore podcast highlights COVID-19 pandemic and local businesses

Westshore Business podcast to look at how businesses handle COVID-19

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Controversial Cowichan tiny house still in place after removal deadline

Cowichan Valley Regional District had ordered it removed by March 15

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

No April Fool’s jokes from Black Press Media

Only factual stories to be printed, despite day calling for hilarity

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

Vancouver Island’s ‘Project Draw Breath’ expands and diversifies to battle pandemic

Grassroots team working to up supplies of ventilators, other equipment during COVID-19 crisis

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

Most Read