Russ Howard
FameRank: 4

"Russell W. "Russ" Howard", Order of Newfoundland and Labrador/ONL is a Canada/Canadian curling/curler and Olympic champion, based in Moncton, New Brunswick, but originally from Midland, Ontario. His home club in Moncton is Curling Beausejour. Known for his gravelly voice, Howard has been to the Tim Hortons Brier/Brier 14 times (8 as Ontario, 6 as New Brunswick), winning the title twice (both as Ontario). He is also a two-time world champion, winning in 1987 and 1993. He has also participated in two Canadian Mixed Curling Championships, and two Canadian Senior Curling Championships. Russ Howard was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

More Russ Howard on Wikipedia.

Brad is a student of the game and this is a very well-prepared young team. Usually young teams have a lot of flaws, in how they prepare for the games and strategy, but not these guys.

It hit me after we beat Jeff Stoughton at the Olympic Trials in Halifax. There, you are trying to win a big game and the pressures that go with that. After you win, there you are on the podium, and they hand you the jackets and scarves with the Olympic logos on them. That's when I said to myself that this was pretty cool.

To get over there and to be part of the opening ceremonies and realize you are an Olympian for the rest of your life, and no one can take that away is, to me, 90 per cent of the experience. If we win a medal, that's a bonus.

We're starting to get more excited about it. It's still a long way off, even though we're leaving today. We get to Italy on Feb. 8 and we don't start competing till Feb. 13, but (there's) the excitement of being there for the opening ceremonies, the Olympics themselves and the ambiance that goes with it.

I got my haircut and was so busy I didn't end up getting dinner on Monday night. We practiced today and now we're back out on the road. So it wasn't as relaxing as I hoped it would be for a 50-year-old.

We get a couple of days at the Athletes Village at the start and a few days after the curling, so it should be an enjoyable time.

But that didn't matter. She was still an Olympian and part of our family. We were pretty proud of her.

So I said to myself, if I was going to drive two hours, I might as well go home and see my mother and the rest of the family.

When I heard I was on the short list to be selected, I thought that was pretty cool.