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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Marie-France Larouche, you are my hero

Dear Marie-France,

You don't know me, but I feel as if I know you.

I'm one of those curling fans who has watched you at the Scotties all these years, you and your variety of teams out of Quebec. I've cheered for you as you chipped away at the top teams in the country, so often in the running for the title, even if you didn't always make it to the final.

Okay, you didn't make it to the final this year either. But you're still my hero, and here's why:

When you stepped on the ice to play the dreaded Bronze medal game at this year's Scotties Tournament of Hearts, you and your team were completely committed to winning. So what if it's not the final? So what if it's generally thought of (by the athletes, apparently) as a mean-nothing game put in place to sell one more block of tickets or TV advertising? So what?

It was a game for a medal, and as you said to TSN's Brian Mudryk during the fifth end break, the game meant something to your team and to curling in Quebec. You played to win, and you brought your best effort.

And when you came up short against a team that clearly didn't care whether they won or lost, whose skip all but said so in the post-game interview - shrugging off the game as if it didn't matter - you let your disappointment show in tears.

Curlers respect the game and their opponents. Today you and your teammates were the only ones who demonstrated that.

And for that, you are my hero.

I'm so sorry you lost that game - but you are still a winner.