Team Gushue third Mark Nichols is on the road again chasing his curling dream, less than a week after the birth of his second son, Emmett.
Nichols is with the team in Calgary this week competing in the last event of the year.
It wasn’t Nichols’s idea to head out for the Champions Cup. He was more than happy to stay home and help with the newborn baby duties.
But like so many times during their marriage, his wife, Colette, who is in St. John’s with their two kids now, said he had to go.
“It was her idea for me to be in Calgary,” said Nichols. “She told me I can’t miss the last event. She said it’s been such an amazing year, I have to finish it off.”
Within the span of a few months, the Nichols family has grown by a Brier Tankard, world championship title and a baby boy.
“It’s the best three months in my life,” Colette said. “There have been so many highs and lows through this all.”
To say the two have been connected through curling is an understatement. Mark and Colette met in Saskatoon at the 2004 Brier. It was only the second appearance for Mark, playing third alongside Brad Gushue, Jamie Korab and Mark Ward.
Colette, who grew up in Outlook, Sask., attended the Brier that year with her family, who are all big curling fans.
“My Auntie Debbie said, have you guys taken a look at these boys from Newfoundland and Labrador?” Colette recalled. “We were like, ‘No, we haven’t, Auntie. Not interested.'”
As it turns out, the interest grew. Colette, her aunt and cousin were in the Brier Patch after one of the draws. Her cousin Shari wanted to get a picture with Korab, which turned out to be a group shot.
“It was her aunt and cousin that approached me looking for a jersey,” Mark Nichols said. “They were wondering why my jersey wasn’t up for auction.”
Mark and Colette hit it off immediately.
“He asked for my number and I gave him my email address,” Colette laughed. “I’m a small-town Saskatchewan girl. I wasn’t about to give him my number.”
Mark emailed Colette before he got on his flight home after the event. A few days later, Colette gave him her number. The two have been together ever since.
“I have one of his Brier shirts from that first Brier,” Colette said. “He found me in the…