This week’s male Athlete of the Week is Brent Pierce of New Westminster, British Columbia.
Birthdate: July 7, 1969
Birthplace: New Westminster, B.C.
Hometown: New Westminster, B.C.
Curling Club: Royal City Curling Club
Current Team: Team Pierce
Position: Skip (Third Stones)
Getting to know Brent Pierce
If there’s been a more consistent performer on the B.C. men’s curling scene over the past 15 years than Brent Pierce, you’d be hard pressed to name him.
Since bursting onto the scene by winning the 1987 provincial junior men’s championship, and then going on to a respectable fourth-place finish at the junior nationals in Prince Albert, Sask., Pierce has contended annually for provincial titles and piled up some significant winnings on the Asham World Curling Tour.
Pierce has come curling bloodlines going for him; his dad Glen, who’s also served as his coach at various times in his career, won a Brier Purple Heart in 1979, and also claimed the 1982 Canadian mixed championship.
Brent has carved out a nice niche of his own; after juniors, his first big victory came in 1998 when he played vice-skip for Greg McAulay, winning the B.C. championship and then going on to lose out in a playoff tiebreaker to Saskatchewan’s Rod Montgomery at the Brier in Winnipeg.
Two years later in Saskatoon, the McAulay foursome, rounded out by second Bryan Miki and lead Jody Sveistrup, journeyed to the top step on the podium, beating New Brunswick’s Russ Howard 9-6 in the Brier final, in which Pierce curled a lights-out 91 per cent.
A few weeks later in Glasgow, the Canadian champs completed a dream season by beating Sweden’s Peja Lindholm 9-4 in the final of the Ford world men’s championship.
The same team also competed at the 2001 Canadian Curling Trials in Regina, finishing out of the playoffs.
Pierce made a return trip to the Tim Hortons Brier in 2009 in Calgary, tossing third stones for Sean Geall, and this year, he’s back in the B.C. men’s championship (scheduled for Feb. 7 to 13 in Vernon) skipping his own team consisting of Paul Cseke, Jay Wakefield and John Cullen.
Pierce is active behind the scenes, too. He’s been a World Curling Players’ Association rep for a decade, and is currently on the board of directors, and also has served on the organizing committee for the Westcoast Curling Classic in New Wesminster.
Quick Hits with Brent Pierce
Do you have any superstitions?
“Not really, but I am a creature of habit when curling. I do the same things each day and all day until curling is done. Then I get up and do it again the next day until they tell me I can’t curl anymore or the ’spiel is over and we have won it.”
Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath guitarist), Michael Jordan, Paul Gowsell.”
If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Baseball, for the Boston Red Sox. I just love the Sawx, baby!!!!!!”
If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“I would really tighten up the sweeping rules to prevent people from being able to dump in front of rocks.”
What music do you like to listen to before a game?
“So many different styles; it just depends what I am into when I get on the plane.”
— Website? “www.curlingzone.com.”
— Order from Tim Hortons? “XL double-double.”
— Vacation destination? “Anywhere hot; there are so many places I have never been because I’m curling too much!”
— Junk food? “What is that????? (Smiles).”
Do you have any pet peeves?
Three things you always travel with?
“iPod, cell phone, shaving kit.”
Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Games like Texas Hold ’em; I will also teach lessons on how to play crib.”
One thing most people don’t know about you?
“That I am a really nice guy and can be very funny on a good day. Oh, and I am not very sarcastic at all . . . ”
What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“That they are not athletes.”
Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“I would load up and fire any shot; I would not be picky if you put that scenario in front of me.”