Gold medal visitor praises rural education

ROSALIND, Alta. – Farmer and Olympic gold medalist Adam Enright recently returned to the school where his Olympic dreams began.

Enright credited the opportunity to play school sports in the small school in Rosalind as key to helping fulfill his Olympic dream on the men’s curling team.

“I don’t think you realize how lucky you are to go to a school like this,” Enright told the 58 students in the kindergarten to Grade 9 school March 16. “The school played a big part in this Olympic medal.”

Enright played on the school’s volleyball, basketball and badminton teams.

“As soon as I walked into the gym, I have so many fond memories of this school and the gym,” he said.

Enright’s name is on many of the sports banners hanging from the gym walls.

During his visit, he donated a signed Olympic shirt he wore during the games to the school.

Enright was the fifth player on the winning team with Kevin Martin, John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert.

He said his teammates attended big city schools and didn’t have the opportunities he did in Rosalind to try out all the school sports.

Enright advised students to find an activity they love, pursue their dreams and not worry about living in a small rural community.

“Find something you like and stick with it. It doesn’t have to be sports. Just find something you like.”

Enright was introduced to curling when he was nine and loved it from the beginning. He moved to Edmonton to attend the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and pursue competitive curling. While at NAIT, he was coached by the same coach that Kevin Martin had. Whenever Martin was short a player, he would ask Enright to play on his team.

Two years ago, Enright played on Martin’s Briar team as an alternate and went with Martin to the world curling championship, where the team won gold.

He said the team’s qualification to represent Canada at the Olympics unleashed a whirlwind of paperwork, practice and doping control, in which doping officials would turn up at the athlete’s home at random.

Once at the Olympics, it was “three weeks of absolute excitement.”

The team stayed in the athletes’ village for the week before the opening ceremonies, where he met many of the other Canadian athletes. He played three-on-three hockey with mini sticks and a tennis ball against some of the women’s hockey team, played ping pong with some of the men’s hockey team and spent time with superstar hockey player Sidney Crosby.

“We talked about their gold medal game and ours,” he said.

“Crosby, he’s an awesome guy, a real role model for Canadian athletes. He’s an awesome guy and was happy to be sharing his stories with us.”

Crosby gave each of the men’s curling team one of the 10 hockey sticks he used in the gold medal game against the United States.

Enright texted Crosby after Crosby’s stick and glove went missing after the game, wondering if he’d picked up the wrong stick. Crosby texted him back, assuring him it was fine.

“I was pretty pumped he didn’t give me the wrong number,” Enright told the students.

As the fifth player on the curling team, it was Enright’s job to study the rocks used by the other teams during the curling games and make note of what percentage of shots were made with which rocks. All curling rocks are not created equal and teams get to choose which rocks they want to use during the final game.

“A lot of people don’t realize how important the rocks are,” he said.

Enright also played four ends in a game against France.

The best moment was when the team won the final game against Norway and the team stood on the podium as Olympic gold medalists.

“There’s absolutely no word to describe it,” he said. “I felt proud, excited, emotional, relieved. It’s all those things times 100. I was proud of what we had accomplished and proud to be Canadian.”

After the ceremonies, the team members were tested for illegal drugs and then moved to media interviews, paperwork and finally, at almost midnight, were able to join up with their families.

“That was a fun night.”

Enright said he returns to the Rosalind family farm as much as possible to help seed and harvest land he rents from his father, Reg.

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