Team BC is returning home with gold hardware after winning it all at the Canada Winter Games last weekend.
It was a major victory, not only for the curlers themselves but also for the province. According to Team BC, it was the first time a men’s team from British Columbia took home a gold medal in curling from the Canada Winter Games.
The team of young curlers finished the 10-game round robin with only one loss, earning a berth in the finals on Saturday (March 2) at the Pidherney Curling Centre in Red Deer, Alta.
Skip Hayato Sato (Coquitlam), second Dawson Ballard (Cloverdale), third Joshua Miki (Port Coquitlam) and lead Troy Chong (Burnaby) took on Team Ontario for the gold, hitting a five-ender in the seventh end and securing a 7–2 victory.
“My goodness, just looking at the shot [for five] and waiting to finally make it … we got that five-ball and they shook hands and my knees were just trembling there,” Sato said in a Team BC press release. “It was an incredible feeling.”
Team BC scored two in the first end before three back-to-back blank ends.
“After we got the deuce we knew it would be a crucial two points and we were just feeling them out,” said B.C. third Joshua Miki. “We wanted to see if we could weed out any mental errors and see how they wanted to play this game.
Sato “really bailed us out there a few ends,” said Miki.
“We were trying our best not to give them easy deuces and it came down to a real tight game,” said Sato. “We took our opportunities when we needed to,” said Sato.
“I had to make a few good shots there just because I got myself into trouble with a few of my bad calls,” he admitted, “but my sweepers held all the rocks and they did great.”
Coach Bryan Miki, who is also Joshua Miki’s dad, said that Sato went into the competition with the goal of winning gold.
“He made his own dreams come true,” said Miki. “He was just determined and you could see it.”
“I can’t even put this into words,” said Sato. “We came into this week thinking, ‘We’ll take it one game at a time.’ Things went well, we got a few lucky breaks along the way and kept our momentum. Everyone played really well and left me with easy shots.”
Now, Team Sato will go on to defend their U18 title at the B.C. provincial championships, scheduled for March 12–17 in Victoria.