Olympic champ among curling foursome booted from bonspiel for being 'extremely drunk'
'I allowed myself to lose control,' says 2014 gold medallist Ryan Fry
The curling foursome of Jamie Koe, Ryan Fry, Chris Schille, and DJ Kidby was kicked out of the Red Deer Curling Classic on Sunday for "unacceptable behaviour" that included being "extremely drunk."
The four were ejected from the World Curling Tour event and forced to forfeit their final match.
After receiving numerous complaints from opponents and spectators, the tournament committee at the Red Deer Curling Centre was compelled to intervene.
"They went out to curl and they were extremely drunk and breaking brooms and swearing and just unacceptable behaviour that nobody wants to watch or hear or listen to and it was just 'enough was enough,'" facility manager Wade Thurber told CBC Sports.
"There was some damage in the locker room and other teams complaining about their stuff being kicked around in the locker room. So at the end of the day, it was like 'OK, that's enough of this gong show.' The committee for the bonspiel collectively decided that we needed to remove them from the spiel for this year and what happens down the road, I'm not sure yet."
Complaints from players, teams
However, a sign was placed on the main board of the arena to make it clear that a decision had been made to remove Koe's team from the competition and all future events at the club.
"We did that because we had so many complaints from other players and teams, not to mention the spectators, and so we wanted them to know that we did something about it," said Thurber.
"We had people taking pictures of the sign and also lots of people telling us we did the right thing. When you have people complaining like that, there is a need to do something, right?"
Olympic champ apologizes for 'embarrassing' actions
Fry, who is normally a third on Brad Jacobs's team, was serving as a spare with Koe's rink at the event. He lives in Calgary while the rest of the team curls out of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and says a bad lapse in judgment affected the experience for others.
"I would like to sincerely apologize to the fans, participants and organizers of the Red Deer Curling Classic," Fry, who has offered to pay for damages, said in a statement to CBC Sports.
"I came to the event to play and enjoy the sport. My actions were truly disrespectful and embarrassing — the committee was right to disqualify us from play."
Fry won gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi as a member of Team Canada along with Jacobs, E.J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden and alternate Caleb Flaxey. He's played in 10 Briers and won the national title in 2013 and a silver at the world championship that same year.
"I allowed myself to lose control and I offended people with my actions. I wish nothing more than to apologize to everyone individually," Fry said.
We in no way support that type of behaviour. ... We're taking the necessary steps to handle it internally.— Canadian skip Brad Jacobs on teammate Ryan Fry's actions at Red Deer Curling Classic
"I will be taking proper steps to ensure this problem can never happen again and I will strive to become a better version of myself while contributing positively to the sport and curling community that I love so much."
My official statement regarding the 2018 Red Deer Curling Classic. <a href="https://t.co/FUEbW92dG5">pic.twitter.com/FUEbW92dG5</a>—@JKnwt
Koe wasn't part of the last game but still took responsibility for the actions of his teammates.
"We're all very disappointed," Jacobs said from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. "We in no way support that type of behaviour, whether it's displayed on or off the ice. It's absolutely unacceptable. We've shared that with Ryan. Really at this point, we're just taking the necessary steps to handle it internally and that's really where we're at."
The team won a Grand Slam title earlier this month in Thunder Bay, Ont.
"We are handling it as a team," Jacobs said. "We do need to have further discussions about this. Our plan is to move forward with Ryan and hopefully resolve this as quickly as possible and not have it affect our play on the ice."
Thurber, who said he "probably did them a favour" by kicking them out, admits he may have worded his notice harshly as far as Team Koe's future at the event, but said it was important to deliver a stern message.
"Maybe the wording wasn't quite right on that paper. At the end of the day, we put it up because we wanted all the spectators and the curlers to know that we've done something about it, because there was quite a bit of backlash, getting lots of complaints and everyone saying the same thing that we needed to get them out of here," Thurber said.
"Then people were commenting and saying 'I suppose they just have to apologize and they're back in next year.' So we kind of said it in a way that there's no guarantee that's what's going to happen — an apology may not cut it."
Thurber added that the event committee was asked by the World Curling Tour to file a formal complaint.
With files from The Canadian Press