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Canadians Take First Gold

20th WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES

February 25, 2006|From the Associated Press

PINEROLO, Italy — Canada routed Finland, 10-4, on Friday night to win its first Olympic men's curling gold medal, breaking it open with six points in the sixth end, or inning.

Finland conceded after eight, the earliest a team can give up in the championship game.

Russ Howard, who turned 50 Sunday, became the oldest Winter Olympic gold medalist. He stood on the podium next to the second-oldest Canadian, 26-year-old Jamie Korab, who had dyed his hair red and white.

Howard, one of Canada's most famous curlers, was added to Brad Gushue's team for his experience. He surpassed the record set by U.S. bobsledder Jay O'Brien, a gold medalist at age 48 at the 1932 Games in Lake Placid. Howard, a two-time world champion, said this gold medal was most satisfying.

"The Olympic pressure, you've got the flag at your back, you're supposed to win -- this is better," he said.

The Canadian men, winners of Olympic silver medals in 1998 and 2002, have won 29 world championships in curling, Canada's second-most popular sport behind hockey. But only the women's curlers have won an Olympic title, in 1998 and again this year.

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