Gushue itching for Olympic return

It only seems like Brad Gushue has been on the national and international stage forever.

With an Olympic gold medal, a Canadian and world junior title and second (2007) and third (2011) place finishes at the Brier to his name, you would think Gushue has been around as long as a Kevin Martin or a Glenn Howard.

But, at 32, the Mount Pearl N.L. native still has a lifetime of curling ahead of him.

In Kelowna for the Grand Slam of Curling that starts Wednesday night at Prospera Place, Gushue says it's hard to believe it will be seven years in February since he won Olympic gold.

"It still feels like yesterday that we were over there (Turin, Italy) playing but it also feels like a long time ago. It's kind of one of those strange feeling," says Gushue of his 2006 Olympic experience.

"I would love to get the opportunity to get back. It's one of the greatest experiences you can have to represent your country at the Olympics. We're working towards it."

Gushue says if they don't get the chance in Russia in 2014 there's still 2018 and 2022.

"It's something that's special to be a part of."

While Gushue won an Olympic medal with a veteran team including Russ Howard, Mark Nichols and Jamie Korab, he is hoping to gel with a younger team this time around.

"We have a young team, guys that are pretty fresh out of junior and hopefully we can get back on the track we were a few years ago of winning these things or at least contending week in and week out," says Gushue.

"I do believe personally my best curling is ahead of me and I do believe for this our best curling is ahead of us. It's just a matter of being patient, getting better and working hard and the results will come.

The top 18 teams in the world are competing in this week's second stop on the Grand Slam of Curling tour.

All 18 had a chance to test the ice they will be playing on for the next five days on Wednesday afternoon.

Gushue says the ice is good and has lots of swing to it - just the way most of the players, and the fans like it.

"It's great for the fans because generally when there's lots of curl there's rocks in play. It also allows us to play a little aggressive knowing we will have an opportunity to get out of the end with a draw behind a rock at the top of the eight foot or if you have that curl you can make that shot," adds Gushue.

"It's nice to have that swing. It allows you to make the shots you need."

The Grand Slam begins Wednesday night at Prospera Place with five round robin games Thursday and Friday.

Tie-breakers, quarter-finals and semi-finals are set for Saturday with the final at 10 a.m. Sunday.

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