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Comox Valley curler wins back-to-back provincial champs

It is a back-to-back top provincial finish for a curler who got their start in the Comox Valley, and he is hoping for another good result at nationals.

Chris Parkinson and his team took home their second win of the U21 men’s curling division in Salmon Arm on Feb. 18. It is a win that comes after humble beginnings, learning to curl in the town of Comox.

Parkinson says he gained an interest in the sport after watching the Olympics when he was around seven years old.

“I thought it was really cool, so as soon as I could I got out there and started curling,” said Parkinson. “I curled there right up until last year until I moved over to the Lower Mainland for curling.”

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He added that competitive curling became a passion after he turned 14 and decided he wanted to win.

“The first event that really made me want to win and be able to represent the province is going to Junior Provincials in Victoria in 2019,” he said.

“We only won one game, we went 1 – 6, but seeing the level of competition and wanting to be able to push myself to become better to the level of those athletes, that’s when it really made me want to become as competitive as I am now.”

His recent win is something that his team has worked very hard for, and it feels like that has paid off. They are looking forward to representing the province at the national championship in Alberta next month.

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He says getting to this level requires a ton of dedication from himself, the team and the curling community.

“It’s a lot of practice, it’s a lot of game time. I get on the ice every day and throw rocks and practice and team practices whenever we can,” he said.

“We have one of the most competitive men’s leagues in the province over here and so we’re able to learn a lot from that. There’s mental stuff outside the game as well, it’s team bonding.”

What keeps him coming back for more is the community as well. Parkinson says that because the community is so much smaller than hockey, for example, he says everyone is very nice and supportive of each other’s teams.

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Next year will be his last year of junior, and he hopes to get into the U25 and men’s leagues in the future.

Parkinson wants to thank his teammates, the Comox Valley Curling Centre, friends and family for helping him reach this level of competition.

“It takes a lot to run a team and get to a high level,” said Parkinson.

“Everyone just sees you’re out on the ice and curling, but there’s a lot behind the scenes that a lot of people don’t see like running social media and driving from place to place.”

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