Curlers honoured for gold medal performance in Japan
L to R: Chris Busby, Jason Obst, Justin Mihalicz, Brad Wallin, Brent Rogers -Photo by U of R Photography Dep't

For Chris Busby, winning the gold-medal at a prestigious international competition in Japan holds special significance.

Busby skipped the U of R's men's varsity curling team of Jason Obst (third), Justin Mihalicz (second), Brad Wallin (lead) and Brent Rogers (alternate) to victory at the 2010 Karuizawa International Curling Championship. The event is held annually in the curling venue used for the 1998 Nagano Olympics in Japan.

"I grew up in the same hometown as Sandra Schmirler and I have a lot of admiration for what she achieved. Winning in the same building where she won the first women's Olympic gold in curling was special," he said.

Busby and his team members were honoured for their achievements on Feb. 6 during half-time at a Cougars men's basketball game, with congratulations from President and Vice-Chancellor Vianne Timmons.

"This is one of the most competitive events of its kind in the world. Thank you for representing our university and our country in the tradition of student athletes at the University of Regina," Timmons said.

The varsity team won the right to represent Canada at Karuizawa by capturing a gold medal at the CIS/CCA University Curling Championship in Montreal in March 2009.

In Japan, they placed second after completion of the eight-team round-robin portion of the competition, with Team China in first place. During the round-robin, the U of R team in fact defeated the first-place Chinese team. Team China had to leave the competition at that point to begin their Olympic preparations in Vancouver, putting the U of R team in first place. They defeated Team New Zealand in the semi-final and Team Japan in the final to grab the gold.