Birth: Biggar, Saskatchewan, June 11, 1963
Died: February 2, 2000
Career Highlights1991-1998 - Member, the Sandra Schmirler Curling Team
1993, 1994, 1997 - Canadian Championship and World Championship winners
1995 - Inducted, Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame
1998 - Nagano Olympic Games – Gold medal (first Olympic gold medal won in the sport)
1998 - Named Team of the Year by Canadian Press
1999 - Inducted, Curling Hall of Fame
When people speak about the Sandra Schmirler curling team the words sisters, best friends, and soul mates are often invoked. This is unusual language in a sport that is so competitive. The four members of a competitive curling team usually have ambitions to move up the ladder, from vice to skip, or from lead and second to vice and then to skip. But the Sandra Schmirler foursome was far from average. Each member was perfectly fitted to her position and the team ran like clockwork. This is why it was recognized as the best women’s curling team in the world.
The story of the Sandra Schmirler curling team is the story of four motivated women who put their individual talents together to create a force that became a legend in the world of curling. Sandra Schmirler, Jan Betker, Joan McCusker, and Marcia Gudereit each had similar beginnings to their curling careers, being exposed to the sport at a young age while growing up in the curling-crazy province of Saskatchewan. Although they were born in different parts of the province, the groundwork for their future success was laid in startlingly similar ways by parents and coaches who stressed the basics of the sport and the proper attitude that would always keep their “hobby” in perspective.
Sandra and Jan first met as teammates on a Regina rink skipped by another woman. Joan and Marcia met as a result of a recommendation from Joan’s future husband, Brian. When Sandra and Jan decided to form their own team, they asked Joan’s sister, Cathy, to join them. Cathy declined because she was pregnant. However, she recommended her sister Joan who agreed, but only if she could also bring along her friend Marcia as the lead. The rest is history. Seldom have four individuals jelled so quickly and been as close off the ice as they were on it. Their individual skills, goals, and personalities combined perfectly to form an unstoppable team. They won three Canadian and three World