A legendary Canadian curling icon has died.
Ray Turnbull, a former Brier’s Cup champion and TSN curling analyst, died Friday morning in a Winnipeg hospital after a short battle with leukemia.
The 78-year-old was synonymous with curling in Canada, spending 26 years as a curling broadcaster with TSN between 1984 and 2010.
“He changed the game,” said Vic Rauter, who sat alongside Turnbull in the broadcasting booth for 25 years.
“As the game evolved, he was right along with it. And he took that passion and taught it around the world.”
Before his TV career, Turnbull had a successful playing career in the 1950s and 1960s, including a 1965 Brier championship for Team Manitoba when the tournament was played in Saskatoon.
That year, he also claimed silver at the curling world championships as part of a team including Don Duguid, Ron Braunstein and skipper Terry Braunstein.
He also toured the world, helping promote the sport in Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland.
“If it wasn’t for Ray Turnbull bringing the game and teaching them, they wouldn’t be where they are today,” Rauter said.
However, Turnbull didn’t only impact international curlers.
“What he instilled in me was a love of the game,” Rauter said, noting he was only a casual curler when they started working together.
—With files from Wray Morrison.