Sports

Kevin Koe, raised in the NWT, wins world curling silver


Kevin Koe missed out on a third world curling title on Sunday as defending champion Niklas Edin won gold for Sweden.

In a third straight Canada-Sweden world men’s final, Edin retained the title 7-2 – earning his fourth world gold medal in the process.

Koe had been hunting a first world title on Canadian soil, having previously won with different teams in Italy (2010) and Switzerland (2016).

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However, Edin heaped pressure on Canada in the eighth and ninth ends to secure the victory.

“Winning the Brier and second in the world championship, you can only ask for one more thing, right?” Koe told TSN.

“Second-best this year, it’s a pretty good accomplishment for this team.

“It’s just hard to put it in perspective right now,” he said.

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Born in Edmonton, Kevin grew up as part of the NWT’s powerhouse Koe curling family in Inuvik and Yellowknife.

Reaching the final of this year’s world championship came after Koe’s rink struggled – by Canada’s high standards – at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, finishing fourth.

A year later, Koe, Ben Hebert, Colton Flasch, and BJ Neufeld entered this event as the world’s top-ranked team. Alternate Ted Appelman and coach John Dunn completed the rink.

Koe and his rink produced a week of drama through a series of memorable must-make shots, hauling themselves through close encounters like their contests with Scotland and Switzerland.

Koe’s quadruple takeout against the Swiss, hailed as one of the great shots in the sport’s history, was dubbed “an amazing thing to see and be a part of” on Twitter by brother Jamie, who has long represented the Northwest Territories at national level.

“I think the crowd stood and cheered for five minutes,” said Jamie, who was among Koe family members attending the event in Lethbridge, of Kevin’s four-point shot earlier in the week.

Needing another quadruple to stay in the game during the ninth end on Sunday evening, Koe came up short and shook hands with Edin.

Kevin and Jamie are in the Northwest Territories’ sports hall of fame as members of the NWT’s 1994 team at curling’s junior nationals, which won silver.

A competitor for the NWT at the 1994 Arctic Winter Games, Kevin has skipped Alberta teams since 2000.

More: Up Here magazine profiles the Koe family

Kerry Galusha, sister to Kevin and Jamie and also a top NWT curler, wondered aloud on Twitter earlier in the week: “For some reason Kevin goes unnoticed and isn’t talked about a lot. I think after this Worlds that may change.”

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