(Click on the above link for CBC Sports Clip showing the “LaBonte Blunder”)
It looks like an easy trip to a fifth consecutive Silver Broom world championship for the Canadians. They’ve won all seven of their round-robin games and beaten classic rivals Scotland to advance to the finals. But by the last end of the championship game against the United States, they’re in trouble. Canada needs two points to force an extra end — and, amazingly, they get both, thanks to an error by the U.S. skip.
It will go down as one of the most infamous events in curling history. Canadian skip Orest Meleschuk knocks out a U.S. stone and the shot rock rolls to the inner edge of the eight-foot ring. U.S. third Frank Aasand glances at the Canadian stone and raises his broom in victory. Skip Bob LaBonte runs over to celebrate, slips on the ice and nudges the Canadian stone as he lands on his back.
Neither Aasand nor LaBonte is aware that the Canadian stone has been “burned,” or inadvertently moved from its original position, and a measurement shows that Canada has the two points necessary to force an extra end. When the end is played, the United States scores no points but Canada scores one — and wins the 1972 Silver Broom. This CBC special from the 1976 Silver Broom in Duluth, Minn., looks back on the debacle.
The best curling moment was when Bob Labonte lost the silver broom to the big “O” Orest Meleschuk….All shots were finished….A Measurment was required to determine which rock was closer, Labontes or Meleschuks…it was very close…the tv cameras and everybody who was watching the game including Orest knew that Labontes rock was closer….all that was left was the traditional clarification of a measurement by a third party in case the rings or hole in the center of the button were crooked and Labonte would be the World Champion of curling…..it was all over for Orest and his crew when suddenly the ungentlemanly Labonte jumped up in celebration slipped and slid on the ice and disturbed the rocks that needed to be measured..the Silver Broom official ruled Labonte had burned the rock and awarded the point to Meleschuk forcing the game into an extra end which Meleschuk easily beat the demoralized U.S.A Bob Labonte team to win the Silver Broom World Championship…..Like Billy Mosienkos 3 goals in 21 seconds the Labonte Blunder remains the worst curling mistake of all time
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