Saskatchewan mourns Sandra Schmirler

Saskatchewan has lost its "Queen of Hearts." Sandra Schmirler, who dominated the sport of curling in the 1990s, has died at the age of 36.

"She wanted her ice chips," said Schmirler's husband, Shannon England, who was with her at a palliative care centre in Regina when she died. "Then she'd, I thought go back to sleep, but I think it was just the start of the end by that point."

Sandra Schmirler grew up in Biggar, but gained worldwide fame in Regina. Shannon England says we should remember her as a "down home Saskatchewan girl".

"She knew where her priorities were. It was her family. Out there as much as she did in the curling world, it was still her family that was important to her."

The Sandra Schmirler rink won three Canadian and world curling championships. The team also won the first ever gold medal awarded for the sport.

Tributes continue to pour in. This afternoon, Regina-Qu'Appelle Valley MP Lorne Nystrom rose in the House of Commons, calling Schmirler "a true fighter, not only bravely battling cancer, but also other issues close to her heart. Her skill on the ice was matched by her courage for life."

Sandra Schmirler leaves a husband and two young daughters, Sarah and Jenna.