Mike Harris (curler)
June 9, 1967|
Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
Toronto Cricket, S&CC, |
|Brier appearances||1 (2004)|
Harris was born in Georgetown, Ontario. Relatively unknown due to the shadows cast out of Ontario in the form of superstars Russ Howard, Ed Werenich and Wayne Middaugh, and having not qualified to a Brier out of Ontario yet, Harris rose to stardom when he skipped his team of Richard Hart, Collin Mitchell and George Karrys to a win at the 1998 Canadian Olympic trials, qualifying the team for the 1998 Winter Olympics. They would defeat the favored Kevin Martin 6-5 in the trials final, after a 7-2 round robin record had the team sole 1st and a direct bye to the final.
At the Olympics, Harris' team dominated throughout, while other pre-Olympic favourites such as reigning World Champions Sweden (skipped by Peja Lindholm) and reigning World silver medalist and European Champions Germany (skipped by Andy Kapp) struggled and were never in playoff contention. Harris lost only one game in the round-robin (a meaningless final game to three-time World Champion and 1988 Olympic Gold medalist Eigil Ramsfjell, skipping Norway). They would win their semi final over the U.S team skipped by Tim Somerville 7-1, in a game conceded after 8 ends, before losing in a major upset in the gold medal final against the surprise finalists, Team Switzerland skipped by Patrick Hürlimann, who they had easily beaten 8-3 in the round robin. Harris was ill during the final game, which many attribute to why they had lost. He shot at only 25% in the final, and even had to take several short breaks on the sideline throughout due to lack of physical energy. However, he was not the only one to struggle in the gold medal game with third Richard Hart shot only 58%, and second Collin Mitchell an uncharacteristic 73% (though lead George Karrys was stellar at 98%).
Prior to the Olympics, Harris' only claim to fame on the national curling scene had been 6-5 record at the 1986 Canadian Junior Men's Curling Championship and a 4-7 record at the 1989 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship. After the 1998 Olympics, Harris skipped a team to the 2004 Nokia Brier where they finished 6-5.
Harris continues to curl competitively, and is now also a curling commentator for the CBC and a golf professional. Mike recently played a large role in the Telus Skins Game, where he co-ordinated the Pro-Am tournament.
- 2017 Brier Media Guide: Previous Rosters
- Mike Harris on the World Curling Federation database
- Mike Harris on the World Curling Tour database
- Mike Harris on the CurlingZone database
- Mike Harris at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com
| CBC Sports Lead Curling analyst (with Joan McCusker)
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