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New Zealand national curling team bids farewell to Calgary retirement residence roommates


A group of New Zealand curlers living in a Calgary retirement residence are heading home.

In September, the national team struck a deal to live at the Chartwell Colonel Belcher Retirement Residence during their Calgary stay.

The curlers, more than 50 years younger than many of their roommates, say their time inside the home has been incredible.

"To be honest, we're just really integrated into this family here," skip Anton Hood said.

"It's been amazing and really heartwarming for us."

Hood says it's like staying with his own grandparents – 175 of them.

"We're just walking down the hallway and saying hello to everyone," he said.

The curlers and residents gathered for a farewell party on Thursday.

Flags were hung, cake was made and a lot of goodbye hugs were exchanged.

"There were a lot of residents down there, which was awesome to see," second Brett Sargon said.

"We loved it."

So did the residents.

Bertha Esplen, 97, can't talk about the team without smiling.

"Oh my goodness," she said.

"Words cannot do justice to how they acted towards us and how we acted towards them. They just feel like my own children."

In the fall, the New Zealanders came to Calgary to practise and learn more about the game.

They say their off-ice fun rivals their time on the ice.

"We didn't win as much as we wanted," Hood told CTV News.

"But we're going to the Worlds (in Switzerland) in a few weeks and feel good about how we're playing."

After that, it'll be some downtime back home before another stint in Calgary come autumn.

"We'd stay here again in a heartbeat," Hood said.

"It’s warm, lovely and the people are great. You can't complain at all." Top Stories

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