Canadian Consulting Engineer

Curling Champion

The roaring game lived up to its name last April as a packed Winnipeg Arena wildly cheered Manitoba native David Nedohin, P.Eng., and his rink toward victory at the World Curling Championship. The 10,...

December 1, 2003  By Nordahl Flakstad

The roaring game lived up to its name last April as a packed Winnipeg Arena wildly cheered Manitoba native David Nedohin, P.Eng., and his rink toward victory at the World Curling Championship. The 10,000-plus crowd witnessed Nedohin and the Randy Ferbey team achieve a rare back-to-back world curling title. They were the first rink to do so in more than 30 years.

“There was no question playing [the World Championship] in Winnipeg was a highlight of my curling career,” explains Nedohin, who grew up in the city.

The 29-year-old University of Manitoba civil engineering graduate now calls Edmonton home. Playing from the Avonair Club, he and rinkmates Ferbey, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque have become curling celebrities in the city. The latest world championship victory followed three consecutives wins at the Brier, the Canadian championship, and a 29-game winning streak that earned them $235,000 at cash bonspiels. It’s nice money but not enough for Nedohin to give up his day job.

His curling history began at Winnipeg’s Charleswood Curling Club where he picked up pointers from his parents and others. With older brother Sean, he honed skills that led him to a dozen junior, senior and mixed provincial championships. A year following graduation, when he moved to Edmonton to work with a consulting firm, veteran competitor Randy Ferbey invited him to join his rink and the team first tasted Brier success in 2001.

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On the way, Nedohin encountered understanding employers who allowed him to take extended weekend absences. He still spends at least two hours, six days a week, practising. In 2002 he joined four partners to form CT & Associates Engineering, an Edmonton geotechnical and environmental consulting firm. CTA (named after senior partner Dr. C.T. Hwang, P.Eng.) also runs a materials-testing laboratory, is active throughout Western Canada and has nine on staff.

For Nedohin, curling and consulting call upon similar skills. “A team’s a team on the ice, in the office and in the field. You have to deal with people, you have to solve problems and you have to put out fires. The guys help me out and I do my best to help out in the summer, when I’m always here.”

In the summer, though, he slides in time for another slippery sport. Family holidays spent at Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park allowed the Nedohin brothers to become expert barefoot water skiers. Nedohin qualified for the Canadian international team from 1991 through 1998, then he left to focus on curling and his career. During the Canadian barefoot water ski championships in Edmonton this summer, however, he was back skimming over the surface at 48 m.p.h. and up to his old tricks. He finished fourth in slalom, third in tricks, second in jumps and third overall.

Dave’s wife Heather brings her own curling credentials. She skipped Canada to a Junior World Championship gold medal, and was on the women’s provincial and national championship teams that won a World Championship bronze medal in 1998.

“We don’t spent a lot of time at home talking about curling,” says Dave. “But when the other person is playing, there is total support.”

With its latest Brier win, the Ferbey rink secured one of 10 spots for the playoffs in December 2005 when Canada’s line-up for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy will be selected.

“Anything we do from now till then is gravy. In the end we have one goal and that’s to go to the Olympics,” says the curling engineer. Left unspoken is that other goal — a curling gold for Canada.

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