Cape Cod Curling Club in Falmouth hosted wheelchair curlers from around the globe the weekend of July 26 and 27. Team Russia, which claimed the silver medal in the para-Olympics in Sochi, Russia, this past winter, finished first, while Team USA finished a close second after forcing the competition into an extra end.
The American squad was made up of three local players, including Sochi veterans Dave Palmer of Mashpee as skip and Meaghan Lino of East Falmouth playing second. Ted Beriau of Osterville made a remarkable showing in his debut tournament throwing lead. James Joseph of New Hartford, New York, completed the foursome playing vice skip.
Another member of the Cape Cod Curling Club, Steve Emt, led a team of US veterans, most of whom were recruited into curling via the Wounded Warrior Project. Though relatively inexperienced, the veterans made a strong showing against a number of more seasoned opponents.
Also playing and performing well over the weekend was the Sochi bronze medal winner, Team Scotland.
Team USA’s close call in taking home the first-place finish on its home ice was especially thrilling given the recent history at the para-Olympic games this past February. At that meeting, Team USA, with two players and one coach from Cape Cod Curling Club, narrowly missed making it into the medal round, while the home team, Russia, took silver.
Recently, here in Falmouth, after a nine-team round robin, the two teams with the best records were Team Russia and Team USA, meaning they would meet on center ice to determine the overall winner.
At the end of regulation play the score was tied, forcing an extra end. After 16 stones slid down the ice, only one point had been scored: Russia’s. It was a heartbreaking loss for the US curlers, but a solid performance and an indication that team USA is becoming a force in international wheelchair curling.