Beaverlodge’s Geoff Walker is taking some time to pause and reflect on the 2021-2022 curling season. Walker calls it “a year to remember.”
“Obviously the dream of going to the Olympics I was able to accomplish in November but getting on the podium was another dream. To top it off winning the Brier is unbelievable. It wasn’t something that we really thought would be possible. It was an amazing year and it’s nice to go into the off-season coming off a win,” he says.
Walker feels confident that Team Gushue will be near the top once again next season, even as Brett Gallant is leaving to join an Alberta team with Brendan Bottcher.
“I think so. We’ll be making an announcement tomorrow on the replacement for Brett. We still have three of the four members on our team. Brett brought a lot to the team over the years. I think our team has run its course so I think it’s a breath of fresh air with a new person coming in. It gives us a little more fire and motivation to try to remain at the top,” he explains.
“There’s going to be a lot of teams that are re-shuffling and trying to put themselves in the best position to win next year and going forward. That alone will give us the motivation to try and get better.”
Walker says he’s looking forward to the off-season for more reasons than one.
“It’s going to be pretty slow. Just sort of hanging out with the family and my wife and I are expecting another child in the middle of the summer. Once that happens, it’s going to get very busy again,” he laughs.
In addition to taking some time away from curling, Walker will do some off-season training as well.
“I don’t do any on-ice training during the summer. I won’t get on the ice until probably mid to late August. Especially after this season, I’ll probably take some more time and start that training a bit later than that. Other than that, I’ll work with my trainer a few times a week to make sure I’m in good enough shape going into next season.”
Walker and Team Gushue finished the season with a Brier, a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympic Games, a silver medal at the LGT World Men’s Championship, and a victory at the Champions Cup. Walker adds that next year could make for a very competitive season, citing Team Mouat, and Team Edin as their top opponents, and some of the newly formed Canadian teams could make a run for it as well.