Nfld. & Labrador

'Good at taking shots': 89-year-old curls for fun and fitness

89-year-old Bill Tibbo started curling more than 20 years ago and has been swept up in the sport ever since.

He's no Brad Gushue, but Bill Tibbo throws a mean rock at the Gander rink

Bill Tibbo took up curling in Corner Brook after he retired. (Julia Cook/CBC)

He may be 89, but Bill Tibbo glides down the ice at the Gander Curling Club with a practised ease. 

"I'm good at taking shots, at taking them rocks out. I'm not the best at draws," he said.

It's not like what Brad  Gushue does, but we just throw the rocks. - Bill Tibbo , 89-year-old curler

Tibbo is (unofficially) the oldest curler at the Gander Curling Club. He started about 20 years ago after he retired from being a teacher and principal.

At the time, he was encouraged to join seniors' curling in Corner Brook. There was a bit of a learning curve the first year.

"I made a lot of mistake, but I started to learn. They told me what to do," he told the Central Morning Show.

"I've improved a little, but not much. It's not like what Brad Gushue does, but we just throw the rocks, anyway."

Tibbo curls each week, and also stays fit by bowling, playing darts, and going on daily walks.

"My wife is now in Lakeside Homes. I gotta go up there twice a day and I walk around, try to keep as healthy as I can."

Tibbo said he'll never be a pro like Brad Gushue, but he's there for the fun of it. (Julia Cook/CBC)

The shining moment in his curling career was when he and his team won the annual teachers' bonspiel.

"When we won it, they called us the Stone Age Curlers," he explained.

"Playing against some of these [teachers] — I was playing before they were born."

While Tibbo likes to win and stay fit, he's mostly there for the camaraderie, and said he'll play as long as he can.

"Right now I got arthritis in my back, but I'm not letting that bother me. I'll keep going yet."

About the Author

Julia Cook

Journalist

Julia Cook reports from CBC's bureau in Gander, primarily for the Central Morning Show.

With files from the Central Morning Show

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