Roar of the Rings

Roar of the Rings

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Winnipeg 2013 |P6 LOTS TO SEE AND DO FOR CURLING FANS ROAR OF THE RINGS ACTION WON'T BE CONFINED TO THE ICE BY JUDY OWEN THE FREE PRESS Want to ask fitness buff Jeff Stoughton how much he can bench-press? How about finding out which games Jennifer Jones enjoys playing with her one-year-old daughter? You'll have that chance at the Roar of the Rings, where one of the fan events is called Up Close & Personal. Held at the Patch in the Winnipeg Convention Centre during the Dec. 1-8 Canadian Olympic curling trials, Up Close & Personal features the athletes in a daily 5:15 p.m. question-and-answer session that can spark insightful, surprising and humourous exchanges. "It provides the fans an opportunity to ask questions to the players that aren't your normal media questions," Stoughton said. "It gives the fans a chance to learn some more about the players' lives." Stoughton and fellow Manitoba skip Mike McEwen are slated to appear at the Dec. 4 session. Jones and local skip Chelsea Carey are on Dec. 3. Check the competitors' schedules on the Roar of the Rings website ( roaroftherings). Fans will also have the opportunity to mingle with the teams at daily autograph sessions listed on the website. "There are a lot of activities being planned to enhance the experience, to make the athletes able to integrate more with our fans and (for) the fans to feel they're part of that whole thing. The athletes love it, too," events manager Rob Dewhirst said. Even before the competition gets underway, the loyalty of curling fans is being recognized on Nov. 30 with a Fan Appreciation Night in the Patch, where the public is welcome to come out for free and meet all 16 teams vying to represent Canada at next year's Winter Olympic Games. "It's kind of family-oriented," Dewhirst said. "There's face-painters and clowns and a historic display." The Patch, of course, is the party place for curling competitions. Entrance is free with a same-day ticket from the Roar of the Rings and fans can partake in some good food, drinks and bands starting at 11 a.m. The lineup for this year's entertainment appeals to all musical tastes, including up-andcoming Canadian country star Tim Hicks, rockers JukeBox Heroes, Johnny Cash tribute band David James and Big River and the everpopular Kenny Shields and Streetheart. Fans can take a breather from dancing by testing their small-scale curling skills in the tabletop Cool Shots competition, with daily cash prizes and a spot up for grabs in a final championship. Tickets to Roar of the Rings are available through packages of $229 and $429, as well as single-draw tickets starting at $27.50 for roundrobin play, $32.50 for the semifinals and $42.50 to watch the finals. ❚ CIMCO Refrigeration welcomes all participants and fans to the...

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