Dufour curling under the radar in France

Thomas Dufour has represented his country in a total of 20 European and world curling championships and earned silver and bronze medals in the 1992 and ‘93 global junior men’s events.

Jamie King beat Leon Moch 6-2 during his first draw of the Red Deer Curling Classic on Friday.

Thomas Dufour has represented his country in a total of 20 European and world curling championships and earned silver and bronze medals in the 1992 and ‘93 global junior men’s events.

He competed in the 2002 Olympics and finished fifth in the 2008 world men’s championship in North Dakota, but very few people in France have taken notice of his accomplishments.

“Curling is not quite big (in France),” the veteran skip and ski instructor from Chamonix said on Friday, after falling 6-2 to Mike Jantzen of Calgary at the Michener Curling Club in the men’s division of the Red Deer Classic.

“We are only 200 players for the whole country.

“It has never improved that way. We never found a way to improve curling in France.”

That could change, however, if Dufour and his supporting cast of third Tony Angiboust, second Richard Ducroz and lead Jan Ducroz are able to achieve a measure of success in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

“We are very, very excited, we are looking forward to this for eight years,” said Dufour, who along with Jan Ducroz played second and third, respectively, for winless French skip Dominque Dupont-Roc in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. “We have already qualified and now we can’t wait to go and play in Vancouver.

“We want to play in all the big tournaments and world (championships), but the main goal is the Olympics. The worlds are important, but in France or in Switzerland or in Germany, if you win the worlds nobody will notice and the curling won’t be noticed. If you can make something at the Olympics then you have a better chance to make your sport growing in your country.”

The French foursome is competing in a third Asham World Curling Tour event this weekend after arriving in Canada in late October and has so far earned just $1,500. Dufour has brought his crew to Canada on an annual basis since 2004 and feels that the Canadian and European cashspiel tours are similar in calibre.

He’s also noticed through the years that Canadian teams are more aggressive in style than a number of their European counterparts, although that gap is closing.

“The styles are coming more and more close year after year,” he said. “We can see some difference. Some teams like to play more conservative in Europe sometimes, but there is few teams like this now because they don’t have success.”

The French team will head home soon to continue preparations for the Vancouver Olympics.

“We are getting ready now by training, practising and playing good teams here in Canada,” said Dufour, whose squad was 4-7 in last spring’s world men’s championship in Moncton, N.B.

“We play very bad today (against Jantzen) and we have a very bad start of season. But we keep our minds strong and we are hoping we are going to fix that sooner than later.”

The Red Deer Curling Classic, offering a men’s purse of $32,000 and women’s total prize money of $34,000, resumed this morning at the Red Deer Curling Centre and the Michener Club.

The WCT event concludes on Monday with both finals at 3 p.m. at the Curling Centre.

Score Friday

Women

10 a.m. draw — Cheryl Bernard 8 Andrea McCutcheon 3; Renee Sonnenberg 9 Brenda Doroshuk 1; Bobbie Sauder 6 Shannon Kleibrink 4; Renelle Bryden 8 Paula Knight 7; Kristen Recksiedler 7 Lisa Johnson 4; Jennifer Jones 9 Krista Crowther 6; Adina Tasaka 6 Megan Kirk 3; Kelley Law 6 Casey Scheidegger 3.

1 p.m. — Eve Muirhead 7 June Campbell 1; Valerie Sweeting 10 Allison MacInnes 3; Tiffany Odegard 7 Leslie Rogers 2; Silvania Tirinzoni 9 Deanne Nichol 3; Chelsea Carey 6 Maria Bushell 4; Faye White 6 Nola Zingel 4; Nadine Chyz 6 Heather Nedohin 3; Marla Mallet 6 Joane Delanoy 3.

4 p.m. — Jones 11 Recksiedler 5; Bernard 5 Adina Tasaka 1; Law 7 Sonnenberg 4; Bryden 4 Sauder 3; Kleibrink 10 Knight 1, Kirk 8 McCutcheon 5; Scheidegger 6 Doroshuk 3; Crowther 8 Johnson 7.

7 p.m. — Muirhead 7 White 2, Mallet 9 Carey 4, Chyz 5 Sweeting 4, Tirinzoni 7 Odegard 6, Nichol 10 Rogers 0, Campbell 6 Zingel 5, Bushell 5 Delanoy 3, Nedohin 6 MacInnes 5.

Men

10 a.m. draw — Rob Krepps 7 Brent Bawel 1; Dean Ross 6 Andrew Biletsky 2; Warren Hassell 9 Rob Armitage 6; Terry Meek 7 Wade White 4.

1 p.m. — Mark Johnson 7 Doug Rae 1; Brad Heidt 6 Geoff Humphrey 4; Mike Jantzen 6 Thomas Dufour 2; Mike Jakubo 6 Scott Egger 3.

4 p.m. — Jamie King 6 Leon Moch 2; Steve Petryk 3 Tyrel Griffith 2; Claudio Pescia 6 Don Delair 5; Justin Shuchinsky 8 Lowell Peterman 6.

7 p.m. ­— Ferbey 8 Koe 0, Hassall 6 Krepps 5, Stockli 9 Buchy 7, Ross 6 Meek 5.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Whispering Pines raises $40,000 for STARS

The golf and country resort held its fifth annual STARS Charity Golf Tournament this past weekend

Man dies in vehicle rollover west of Red Deer

Rocky Mountain House RCMP investigate

UPDATED: Lee seeks UCP nomination in Red Deer

Eyes Red Deer-North constituency

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Red Deer city council considers new business licence bylaw

All businesses operating in the City of Red Deer will require a… Continue reading

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Scheer going to India to ‘repair’ relationship after ‘disastrous’ Trudeau trip

OTTAWA — Six months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s foreign policy prowess… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month