Owen Ross (centre) sweeping alongside his teammate, while their skip calls the shots during a game in Oakville on Sunday.

Curler Owen Ross inspired by Vancouver Olympics

Oakville native, 16, took up game after watching Kevin Martin win gold

Curler Owen Ross didn’t just watch the 2010 Olympics, he became inspired.

Canada was able to take home 14 gold medals on home soil in Vancouver, including one in the men’s curling event.

It was that latter one that sent the then-10-year-old into a new sport.

“It was watching that,” the 16-year-old said. “I watched curling before that and it looked fun, and after the 2010 Olympics I decided to try it.”

He now plays competitively on two teams out of the Oakville Curling Club, second on a bantam team, and as a spare on a junior team.

Second stone is exactly where the local native wants to play, just like one of his favourite curlers, Marc Kennedy, did on the Olympic gold-medal winning team in 2010.

“Kennedy was just an all-around good front-end player,” he said. “He usually set-up the vice (third) with really good opportunities, and he was a really good sweeper.”

Ross’ bantam team has only played one bonspiel on the young season, but the rink had done well during league play.

“In summer league, which ended the last week of September, we were one of the top teams,” he said. “In our first bonspiel … we were placed in the second-knockout group, we lost our first game, but it was still pretty good to be in that group.”

In junior curling in Ontario, there are different stages they have to go through to compete at the finals, starting with zone qualifiers.

Ross, who has only been curling for five seasons, had the opportunity last year to compete in the second stage with his bantam mixed team.

“We won the zones, and we got to go to regionals,” said the high school student. “We got eliminated from the regionals, but we made it out of the zones, and that has been by biggest accomplishment so far.”

Ross throwing a stone in the second position during his game in Oakville on Sunday.
Ross throwing a stone in the second position during his game in Oakville on Sunday. (Cam Ross)

With the curling season in full-swing, Ross has a few goals he would like to accomplish before year’s-end, including being able to repeat his success from last year.

“For me personally, I need to work on some of my shots … I’m focusing on my take-outs,” Ross said. “For the team, the goal is to go back to regionals with the bantam men’s team and see how far we can go.”