Kaitlyn Lawes and Dawn McEwen, the Winnipeg resident members of 2022 Canadian Women’s Olympic Curling Team, returned home to Winnipeg tonight tired from their successful week at the Canadian Curling Trials in Saskatoon.
And they were given the traditional CurlManitoba – Winnipeg Airport champions welcome – the “official” greeting and words of congratulations; flowers for the champions; a trip down the escalator to the welcoming arms of family, friends, and fans, including a group of very proud St. Vital club members; and media. If you missed the homecoming – watch CTV locally tomorrow. Thanks to them for being there!!!)
In these pandemic-ruled times, the crowd was a little smaller (it seems like people don’t like crowds any more), the welcomers were conscious of distancing, a few hugs were awkward – almost apologetic.
But it is a grand tradition that goes back to at least Don Duguid’s triumphant return with a world gold medal in 1970 and both CurlManitoba and Winnipeg Airport Authority are to be commended for ensuring it was continued tonight.
AND, my personal thanks to the security guard (whose name I didn’t get but wouldn’t have included here anyway) for his courtesy. He was appropriately rigid in ensuring that I followed the rules that had to be followed and appropriately flexible on the rules that his bosses had already decreed as flexible by allowing the welcome to occur at all. We spent a pleasant few minutes chatting about “this and that” before the bell rang and he had to pay attention to duty.
Hopefully there will be more Manitoba champions this year – and they’ll be able to enjoy the same welcome when it is their turn.