By Kacper Antoszewski
Chantal Lagassé doesn't visit northern Manitoba often. A resident of St. Adolphe, she lives about as far away from Thompson as you can in Manitoba. But if there was ever a good reason to come north, it's the Manitoba Winter Games powered by Manitoba Hydro.
At least, that's Lagassé's excuse, and trust me, she's used it before. When she was 15, Lagassé competed in the 1994 Manitoba Winter Games as a junior curler in Thompson, and now her son Luc, also 15, is right back in her shoes in 2018.
While Lagassé didn't place, she was still grateful for the opportunity to come north. Thompson's hospitality left a lasting impression on her. “Everyone was friendly, and that hasn't changed,” she said. “People are very inviting here.”
What has changed is the scale: Lagassé is impressed with how the sport has developed since her experience in '94. “It seems more organized, and the athletes this time seem a lot more professional. Junior curling has come a long way,” she said.
Luc definitely has it in his blood, curled scarcely a year before being selected to compete in the Games for Team South. He played hockey and baseball before his mother introduced him to curling last year. Luc was busy preparing for his first night of competition, but Lagassé stated that she was “absolutely” proud of her son.
“It's just an amazing feeling, to see him competing in the same sport I competed in,” she said.