Winning Senior Men’s Worlds – 2002

What are those beautiful white banners in frames built by Tim Ebert that we see when we exit the icehouse by Sheet 6? To find out, I asked the two current MCC curlers whose names are there in bold embroidered letters: Stan Vinge and Wally Henry. This week, we’ll focus on the 2002 banner.

In April 2002, Stan Vinge played vice skip on the U.S. team that won the World Senior Men’s Championships. This was Stan’s second trip to Senior World’s, the first being in 2000 to Scotland with an all Madison team that he skipped. 

“Senior curling developed because there were so many competitive curlers that had aged out but could still play well and enjoyed competition,” Stan explained. By 2002, the World Curling Federation was hosting Men’s and Women’s Senior Championship as an annual competition along with its other established events.

Held in Bismarck, North Dakota, Larry Johnson of North Dakota skipped that 2002 U.S. team. Stan described him as “an old time curler who was older than the rest of us. He used a steel slider. And he owned the four-foot. Our team was an offensive power; Larry had to throw only two take-outs a game.”  

The other team members were George Godfrey at second and Bill Kind at lead, both of Madison CC at the time. (And yes, Bill Kind is related to Maureen Kind, as he was Don Kind’s brother. Bill now curls out of Rice Lake.) Steve Brown of MCC was the alternate, though he had an additional role too. “Steve was pretty busy coaching Ericka’s team,” Stan explained.  (Steve’s daughter Ericka Brown was the skip of the U.S. Women’s team competing at the same time in Bismarck.) Elgie Noble of Poynette served as team coach.

The team ended the series with a powerful 6-1 record. Their final game was against Canada, which they won 8-2 in only 7 ends.  

Stan returned to Senior Men’s Worlds one more time, in 2007 in Edmonton, Alberta. He played vice with skip Geoff Goodland, second Wally Henry, and alternate Mark Swandby, all of Madison. Jim Wilson from Chicago was set to play lead but when he broke his hand right before the games started, Mark replaced him. In their competitions leading up to World’s, the team won an impressive 36 consecutive games.

“I always thought we were fortunate.  Here we are, amateur people out of Wisconsin who went to the national championship and Worlds and played well. My God, I can’t think of another sport in which I can make it to Worlds except curling. It’s a great game.”

Indeed it is!

Congratulations Stan and teammates on this, the 20th anniversary year of your World Senior Men’s championship.

Curious as to who else from MCC has gone to World’s?  We’ve been well represented. See this chart.

Posted by Miranda