In the world of curling there are two kinds of curler; the exceptional players we watch on television and the rest of us, the Everyman Curlers.
Rae Kujanpaa acknowledges he was one of the latter – a regular curler who loved the game and loved to chase the opportunity of winning a cash bonspiel or a coveted berth in the Manitoba championship.
He took home first prize money once from a World Curling Tour bonspiel and qualified ten different times for the Manitoba Men’s championship (along with four Mixed provincials and a pair of Senior Men’s) but who fell short of the dream more often than he succeeded.
In his ‘covid-project’ book THE EVERYMAN CURLER, Kujanpaa talks about his experiences in the sport and explains his reasons for loving the game of curling in a manner that is both personal and entertaining.
He curled competitively in the era when the sport began to transition away from the time when a good club curler could compete and hope to win against the best and toward the time when a degree of professionalism was entering the sport and the club curler could no longer compete. In the end, he acknowledges that he was not willing to allow the sport to impact his family and his life the way he knew it would have to if he wanted to succeed at the highest level.
As with all Everyman curlers, he says “curling was something I did in addition to the really important things in life.”
His book is drawing good reviews from other Everyman curlers. Typical is the comment of Keith Johnston, who said recently in a Facebook post after finishing the book “I thoroughly enjoyed The Everyman Curler. Rae’s reflections wonderfully illustrate how curling became such a significant part of our lives. I think most of us will see our own experiences within his stories.”
Rae Kujanpaa’s book The Everyman Curler is available in paperback (price $18.95) or electronic (price $9.95) versions at amazon.ca.
It is recommended for every curler and as a gift for those in the lives of a curler who want to understand that person’s obsession with the game.