After taking more than a decade off from curling, Garry Gelowitz returned to the sport in 2001 with the intention of simply playing for fun.
As it turned out, his competitive fire was just too much to extinguish.
Ten years later, Gelowitz has claimed his first ever national title.
The Kelowna Curling Club foursome captured the 2011 Canadian Masters (60-plus) Men’s Curling Championship Tuesday in Winnipeg with a 6-3 win over Manitoba’s John Usackis.
Trailing 2-1 after three, the Gelowitz rink—also featuring Roy Giles, Brad Smolik and Dennis Case—took control of the final with three in the fourth end and never looked back.
For Gelowitz, 65, who was a competitive curler in Saskatchewan back in the 1970s and 1980s, winning his first national title is a satisfying accomplishment.
“Did I think I would win my first one at 65 ? Not a chance,” said Gelowitz with a laugh. “It’s better late than never, that’s for sure. I know I don’t feel 65 and I still enjoy the game a lot.”
The Gelowitz rink posted an 8-1 record at the Canadian Masters, defeating Quebec in the 3-4 Page Playoff game, then disposing of Ontario in the semifinal.
It was the second straight trip to the nationals for Gelowitz who lost the 3-4 game last year in St. John’s, Nfld.
Gelowitz also came close to earning a trip to the Canadian Senior Men’s Curling championship this year, but lost the B.C. final last month in Kamloops to Greg McAulay.
The Gelowitz rink is the second Kelowna Curling Club team to win the Canadian Masters Championship.
The Dale McKenzie foursome won the 2006 title in Bridgewater, N.S.