Brad Gushue teams up with 12-year-old daughter for mixed doubles debut
New chapter of former Olympian's career sees him side-by-side with daughter Hayley
Brad Gushue has gone outside his home province to find new teammates in the past, but for the most recent addition to Team Gushue, he didn't have to look far.
The former Olympic champion has teamed up with his 12-year-old daughter, Hayley, to compete in the Newfoundland and Labrador mixed doubles curling championship.
"It's been 12 years waiting for the moment," Gushue told CBC News after their first game on Wednesday. "She played great today and it's a lot of fun out here."
The elder Gushue said he has no expectations for the tournament, other than to have fun and let his daughter gain experience on the ice.
Hayley is a casual curler — she's more focused on volleyball right now — but she has a natural delivery on the ice.
This is her first competition, and her father is treating it as a fun exercise to get more experience. He couldn't be happier to be her teammate.
"I love the fact that she's interested in the game," Brad said.
"I'd love to see her play it because it's a game that has meant a lot to me and brought me a lot, as far as travelling the world and meeting a lot of amazing people. Hopefully she has a similar experience, whether it's in curling or volleyball or some of the other sports she's involved with as well."
Growing up Gushue
Hayley is shy and reserved, but laughed and said yes when asked if her dad's parenting style is different from his curling style.
Brad said if anything, he's more patient on the ice, since he wants to instil a confidence in his daughter.
The province watched Brad Gushue grow up on their TV screens from the time he was a fresh-faced teenager winning junior championships.
They also watched as his family grew.
When he won the Olympics in 2006, the first thing he wanted to do was phone his mother.
In the years that followed, Gushue became a father twice over with his wife, Krista.
After winning the Brier in 2017, the first thing he did was reach for his two daughters.
On Wednesday, he was beaming with pride as he played alongside Hayley, his oldest.
They lost their first game to the defending champions, Dave Thomas and Jenna Harvey, but were all smiles coming off the ice.
"We were two up coming home [in the last end] and I missed all three of my shots," Brad laughed. "[Hayley] made hers, but I've got to take the onus on that one."
As they walked into the viewing area, a family member looked at Hayley and said, "Dad's fault!"
Team Gushue followed up with a crushing 9-3 win over Zach Young and Brooke Godsland in the afternoon draw.
Brad gave credit to Hayley for her play.
"She played great today," he said. "I'm proud of our performance and proud of how she played today."