'I cried here half the morning': P.E.I. Gallant family elated after N.L. Brier win
Charlottetown native Brett Gallant first Islander to win Brier
A day after watching his son Brett sweep the final rock that propelled Newfoundland and Labrador to victory in the Brier championship, Peter Gallant is still overcome with emotion.
"I'm still over the top here," said Gallant, from South Korea, where he's coaching that country's women's national team.
"I cried here half the morning ... And you know, every now and then I still get a message from someone, and it still brings a tear. I know how much it meant to Brett."
Coached by his parents
Brett Gallant has been a part of Brad Gushue's Newfoundland rink since 2012. But the 27-year-old grew up curling in Charlottetown, coached for much of his young career by his parents, Peter and Kathie, both long-time competitive curlers themselves.
"My wife was saying she remembers watching the Brier with him when he was eight or nine years old, and he was saying, 'someday I'm going to be there and win that.' I mean, he wanted to be a curler all his life. And to see him obtain that goal of winning the Brier — something I always wanted to do as a curler and couldn't do it — now he's done it, and it's pretty amazing."
For anyone to move to a different province and put in that much effort for one goal is pretty incredible- Chris Gallant, Brett's brother
P.E.I. as a province has never won the Brier championship. On Sunday night, Brett Gallant became the first individual Islander to win as part of another province's team.
Shoes to fill
It's inspiring for younger curlers on the Island, like Gallant's younger brother Chris — an accomplished curler in his own right. The 21-year-old just returned from representing P.E.I. at the Canadian junior championship in January.
This weekend, he's off to the national university championship as a member of UPEI.
"The shoes to fill just got a little bigger I think," the younger Gallant said with a chuckle. "But really, I just feel pride. For anyone to move to a different province and put in that much effort for one goal is pretty incredible ... It was just a special kind of moment for the whole family, really."
Now, the focus for Brett Gallant and the rest of the Newfoundland rink turns to the world championship taking place in Edmonton starting April 1st.
It won't be the Charlottetown native's first world championship. Gallant skipped the P.E.I. team to a silver medal at the 2009 World junior championship after winning the national title that same year.
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