A team of professional curlers have been booted from a World Curling Tour event for being “extremely drunk” while competing.
Ryan Fry, a gold medallist at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and his team members Jamie Koe, Chris Schille and DJ Kidby, were disqualified from Canada’s Red Deer Curling Classic on Sunday.
Red Deer Curling Centre’s Wade Thurber told Canadian broadcaster CBC that spectators and players complained about the team’s behaviour.
“They went out to curl and they were extremely drunk – breaking brooms and swearing and just unacceptable behaviour that nobody wants to watch or hear or listen to,” Thurber said.
“There was some damage in the locker room and other teams complaining about their stuff being kicked around in the locker room.
“So at the end of the day, it was like, ‘OK, that’s enough of this gong show’.”
The team played seven out of 10 ends, or rounds of the game, in this “unacceptable” state, eventually losing the match 10-5.
Thurber told the Red Deer Advocate the team was a player down, as Koe was “too drunk to play”.
Curling is known for its drinking culture, however, Thurber said most teams usually enjoy a drink after their games.
But he said that, on this occasion, Koe’s team took it too far.
“Our bar staff eventually cut them off, then they went down to curl, but they had already crossed that line of too drunk,” Thurber said.
— David Sciacero (@DavidSciacero) November 18, 2018
After the team was turfed from the competition, the Red Deer Curling Classic Committee placed notices around the arena suggesting the team would be banned from the centre in the future.
However, Thurber later told CBC the committee was not yet sure about “what happens down the road” for the team in regards to future events.
The players have since apologised for their actions.
Team leader Koe took to Twitter to say the committee was right to disqualify them.
“Due to a lapse in judgement on Saturday, we contributed to [an] unpleasant experience for others,” Koe said.
“Although I removed myself from the last game before it started, the action from the team led to our disqualification.
“I will be taking steps to ensure this never happens again.”
The three other teammates posted similar statements on Twitter after news of their disqualification broke.
I want to express how sorry I am to everyone affected by my actions on Saturday. I never meant to offend anyone but that’s the result of a poor decision – I have to live with the consequences and will be taking every step needed to guarantee this never happens again. #notgivingup pic.twitter.com/3gnjkDam1W
— Ryan Fry (@ryanfry79) November 19, 2018
Schille said the decision made by the committee “was the right one, given the position they were put in”.
Kidby said he was sorry to all who “had to witness the display”.