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Fate of provincial curling championships in Kamloops remains up in air

Despite a Curl BC announcement that the events are back on, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the “ultimate decision" has yet to be made
curling stones

Curl BC’s announcement that the provincial men’s and women’s curling championships will take place in Kamloops next month may have been premature.

The championships — scheduled for Jan. 4 to Jan. 9 at the curling clubs on McArthur Island and downtown — were initially cancelled due to being caught in the provincial health order of Dec. 17 that nixed all sports tournaments until at least Jan. 31.

The public health order was implemented in response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly in B.C.

On Dec. 23, however, Curl BC said discussions with provincial health officers led to an exemption to allow the Kamloops championships to proceed from Jan. 4 to Jan. 9.

On Dec. 24, however, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry clarified the situation.

“I will say the ultimate decision has not yet been made on whether that will continue or go ahead,” she said. “It much depends on what happens in the next week.”

The provincial government website detailing public health orders now notes all sports tournaments are cancelled “except for high-performance athletes.”

Henry said it is about trying to have higher-level competitive sports being able to hold events in certain ways, including no spectators and other rules.

Adding to the urgency of a decision being made on the men’s and women’s provincial championship events in Kamloops is the fact the national men’s and women’s curling championships are taking place soon. The Scotties national women’s tourney is set to take place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 6 in Thunder Bay. The national men’s curling championship is set for Lethbridge from March 4 to March 13.

The championships were set to be played in Kamloops in January of 2021, but were axed then due to the pandemic.