This week’s junior Athlete of the Week is Michael Ng of Calgary, Alberta.
Birthdate: June 19, 1990
Curling Club: Calgary Curling Club
Current Team: Team Colin Hodgson
Getting to know Michael Ng
Over the past decade on the Calgary junior curling scene, chances were always very good that a member of the Ng family was going to be enjoying a good deal of success.
First, it was Matthew; he had a terrific junior career, capped by a Canadian and world junior championship in 2007, playing with skip Charley Thomas.
These days, it’s Michael who’s carving out a niche for himself, and he enters his final season of junior eligibility, tossing third rocks for Colin Hodgson’s Calgary foursome, with high hopes.
Ng has already enjoyed a good deal of success, even before he was a teenager when he was named the 2002 Curler of the Year at the North Hill club in Calgary when he was 11 years old.
Since then, he’s won a pair of Alberta championships; first, in 2006 when he claimed the provincial juvenile championship, going on to finish eighth at the prestigious Optimist International juvenile championship.
Then, in 2009, playing vice-skip for Kevin Yablonski’s team, Ng won his first provincial junior men’s title, and went on to capture a bronze medal at the M and M Meat Shops Canadian junior championships in Salmon Arm, B.C., where Alberta lost the semifinal to eventual champion Brett Gallant of Prince Edward Island.
Ng, who’s enrolled in the prestigious Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, does his part to build the sport off the ice, too. He’s served as an instructor at the popular Alberta Rocks summer camps in Leduc, Alberta, and also has helped coach juniors at the North Hill club in Calgary, and also coaches in the Calgary Youth Curling Association’s Enhancement Camps.
Quick Hits with Michael Ng
Do you have any superstitions?
“There is a junior bonspiel in our area that is cursed. The winner of this bonspiel has always been a provincial contender, but has never won provincials that same year. It happened to my team once . . . we’re not curling in it this year.”
Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“1. Michael Jordan. He had a lot of talent, but it was his work ethic and self-determination that separated him from everyone else.
“2. Team Martin. I have too many questions for these guys. They could definitely teach me a thing or two.
“3. Tiger Woods. In the past, he has been known for his excellent work ethic and mental strength in golf. With his recent hiccup, he has a tremendous situation to overcome. I still believe that he has many tournaments to be won and that he will reclaim his throne as the best player in golf. I would like to hear about the challenges he has faced in the last year, and what he plans on doing to overcome them.”
If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“I would have loved to be a basketball star in the NBA. Those guys truly live like celebrities and their physical abilities are extraordinary. But with that dream, I also would have to grow another foot. Wouldn’t it be something if a Chinese Canadian made it in the NBA?”
If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“No draws should start before 10 a.m. That way, we would all get a good sleep before our games!”
What music do you like to listen to before a game?
“Jay Z is always good.”
— Website? “Facebook . . . unfortunately.”
— Order from Tim Hortons? Turkey bacon club with a Boston cream doughnut!”
— Vacation destination? “Maui.”
— Junk food? “McDonald’s.”
Do you have any pet peeves?
“My greatest pet peeve is when people live inside their smart phones. By constantly talking, texting and playing games, we shut ourselves out from our surroundings. It bothers me the most when people use it at the dinner table!”
Three things you always travel with?
“My iPod, hair gel, and money.”
First thing on your Bucket List?
“I would like to have a long trip touring Europe.”
Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Meeting people at the rink! There are a lot of great people in the sport of curling.”
One thing most people don’t know about you?
“I really like comic books and would like to have a superpower one day.”
What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“Many people believe that there is a “sweeping guy,” a “throwing guy,” and a “yelling guy.” Oh and by the way, this is another pet peeve of mine; when people ask which of those three that I am.”
Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“When I make the shot to win it.”