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Classic rock: Celebrating 55 years of curling on CBC

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the start of CBC's televised curling coverage. To celebrate, here's a look back at some of the most memorable moments from more than five decades on the ice.

Memorable moments, big stars and even a few laughs

CBC Sports' curling coverage has featured some of Canada's best, including, clockwise from top left, Colleen Jones, Brad Gushue, Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs. (Canadian Press)

Curling and the CBC have been linked since before Canada's flag had a red-and-white maple leaf on it, and the network has been home to some of the biggest moments in the history of the sport.

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the start of the CBC's televised curling coverage. From burnt rocks and the evolution of brooms to Briers, Scotties, Grand Slams and the Olympics, here's a look back at some of the most memorable moments from more than five decades on the ice.

CBC Sports' live coverage continues this weekend with the Grand Slam of Curling's Canadian Open. Watch the men's quarter-finals Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and the men's final Sunday at noon ET on CBC TV and CBCSports.ca

Early innovators

CBC Sports began covering curling in 1962 with the Macdonald Brier. The next year in Brandon, Man., Ernie Richardson became the first person to win four Briers.

At one of CBC Sports' earliest broadcasts, Ernie Richardson became the first person to win four Briers. 0:27

Don Duguid, a three-time Brier winner himself, claimed his first world championship in 1970 at the Air Canada Silver Broom, the first time the bonspiel was held in the U.S. Duguid would later join Don Wittman in the CBC Sports broadcast booth, becoming the voice of curling for countless Canadian fans.

Don Duguid was a champion skip in addition to his years broadcasting with CBC Sports, winning the first of his two world championships in 1970. 0:17

No shortage of stars

Some of the sport's biggest names were introduced to curling fans nationwide by CBC Sports. Glenn Howard's illustrious career began as a third on his brother Russ' rink, while Brad Gushue's journey from junior champ to Olympic gold in Turin was documented thoroughly on the network.

Curlers from Kevin Martin to Kevin Koe have been featured on CBC Sports' coverage, with former stars like Joan McCusker and Mike Harris even joining the broadcast team later in their careers.

For multiple generations of curling fans — especially in the Maritimes — Colleen Jones was a major curling presence starting with her win at the 1982 Scotties Tournament of Hearts as a 22-year-old. 

Colleen Jones claimed her first Scotties Tournament of Hearts win in 1982 at just 22 years old. 0:36

Jones, who was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 and currently works as a reporter for CBC, went on to win another five Scotties, including the 2001 Canadian women's championship that featured a decisive end that was nearly too close to call.

Colleen Jones began her run of four consecutive Scotties wins with this final rock that needed an official measurement to secure the win. 0:52

Olympic history

In addition to innovations such as overhead cameras and attaching microphones to the stones (and, later, players), CBC Sports was instrumental in curling's Olympic debut in 1998. Even though Harris finished with silver, McCusker claimed gold with the women's rink in Nagano.

In 2014, the Olympics returned to the CBC, and fans were treated to double gold thanks to Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs.


Famous (and infamous) faces

CBC Sports was on hand for one of curling's most infamous moments in 1972, when U.S. skip Bob LaBonte was caught celebrating prematurely at the Air Canada Silver Broom.

The skip slipped - and, as a result Canada wins the 1972 Silver Broom in one of curling's most infamous incidents. 1:25

Whether LaBonte "cursed" Canada or not is still up for debate, but Canada didn't win another world championship until 1980.

Curling's relationship with CBC Sports goes back almost as far as the network's other famous sports program, but how much of a connection is there between curling on CBC and Hockey Night in Canada?

While most people know Bob Cole for his work as a hockey broadcaster, the member of the Order of Canada was also a competitive curler. 0:29

Surprised to see Bob Cole on the ice instead of in the booth? In addition to his storied broadcasting career, the longtime hockey play-by-play man was a competitive curler who represented Newfoundland at two Briers.

Need some more Canadiana? How about an all-star curling broadcast featuring comedy legends John Candy, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty and Martin Short.

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