Curse of LaBonte
The "Curse of LaBonte" is quite possibly one of the most famous curses in curling history. It was caused by an incident at the finals of the 1972 world men's curling championship, the 1972 Air Canada Silver Broom in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
The Canadian team, skipped by Orest Meleschuk was playing the American team skipped by Robert LaBonte in the finals. Canada had been undefeated up until this point, but was down by two points in the last end. They needed two points to tie the game. Meleschuk had the "hammer", the final shot of the end. When it was time for him to shoot, the Americans had shot rock on the button while Canada was sitting second shot right next to it. The U.S. was sitting third rock with a rock biting the 8-foot. To tie the game, Meleschuk had to hit the American rock and not roll further than this third rock.
Meleschuk's rock made the hit, and it proceeded to roll into the 8-foot. When it stopped, it was close to being second, but the Americans thought otherwise, and U.S. third Frank Aasand jumped in the air to celebrate. In the meantime, Canada's third Dave Romano was still investigating which rock was second rock, and thus whether or not Canada had scored two to tie, or just one for the loss. While Romano was looking, LaBonte jumped in the air to celebrate as well, but slipped and accidentally kicked the Canadian stone. Romano had still not agreed on who was shot, and since LaBonte had kicked the rock closer than the American rock, Canada was awarded two points in the end. Canada then stole another point in the extra end to win the championship after LaBonte was heavy with a draw for the win.
It was later said that LaBonte put a "curse" on Canada, because Canada did not win another World Championship until 1980. Canadian journalist Larry Tucker is generally considered to have been given credit for inventing the hex in 1980 to describe Canada's victory that year.
A secondary "curse", if interpreted in this way, is that a North Dakotan rink did not represent the United States again in the World Curling Championships until 1997, when Craig Disher of Langdon represented the United States.
This is the final score of the final of the 1972 Air Canada Silver Broom.
|United States (LaBonte)||0||1||0||0||2||0||2||2||2||0||0||9|
- "The 'curse' of LaBonte". CBC.
- Canada Curls: The Illustrated History of Curling In Canada by Doug Maxwell. Whitecap Books, 2002.
- World Curling Federation: 1972 Air Canada Silver Broom
- The Curling News ad featuring the curse of LaBonte