Tyler Tardi representing the B.C.-based Team Tardi. The curler first emerged on the national scene when he was the skip of the British Columbian team at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. He has since gone on to train at the Penticton Curling Club. (Photo- Team Tardi Curling)

Tyler Tardi representing the B.C.-based Team Tardi. The curler first emerged on the national scene when he was the skip of the British Columbian team at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. He has since gone on to train at the Penticton Curling Club. (Photo- Team Tardi Curling)

Canadian curler credits breakthrough success to Penticton-based club

Tyler Tardi will play on Team Koe at the 2022 Penticton Curling Classic this November

Tyler Tardi feels like he won the curling lottery.

The 24-year-old may be from Langley but a recent stint at the Penticton Curling Club has led to an opportunity a young Canadian athlete can only dream of.

After playing against Kevin Koe’s team at the Penticton Curling Classic in past years, Tardi impressed his opponents so much that he was invited to join them on the international stage in 2022.

“There’s lots of young, up-and-coming curlers in B.C. but to get this opportunity is just amazing,” Tardi told Black Press Media. “It’s something you dream of when you’re younger.”

Koe, a two-time world champion and Canadian men’s leader at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, will have the local club member by his side when he competes at a championship tournament in Calgary next month and at the prestigious Penticton Curling Classic this November.

Whether it’s hockey, baseball, basketball, or football, Tardi’s played it all. But it was curling that resonated with him the most, partly due to his father’s experience with the sport as a junior competitor and his aunt’s run with Canadian curling legend Jennifer Jones in Manitoba.

“I come from a curling family so it’s always been around me,” Tardi recalled. “When I was in Grade 7, I started really playing but it wasn’t until high school when I started going away for curling tournaments.”

The curler represented Canada at the World Junior Curling Championships in 2018 and 2019 at tournaments in Scotland and England, winning the gold medal in each event.

Tardi arrived in Penticton to play as a junior in the city’s aforementioned flagship event. Shortly after, he joined the club to learn under local players and prepare himself for what he hopes is a long career in the curling world.

“Penticton is a major part of why I’m here today,” Tardi said. “They were so welcoming…the facility, the people, it was all just amazing.”

The now Peachland resident says he’s forever grateful for Penticton and its curling club.

“It’s pretty amazing how a fairly small place can contribute so much to someone’s success,” he said.

Koe, meanwhile, feels just as lucky to have Tardi join him for the upcoming season.

“It is not easy coming from the junior level to the next, it’s very hard to make it,” said the 47-year-old, who added that he’s “in awe” of what Tardi’s been able to accomplish in such a short time. ”It is fun to support the young curlers and great to see the talent continue.”

The Penticton Curling Classic this fall will welcome 30 curling teams, with Canada, the United States, Scotland and Japan the nations represented.

READ MORE: Penticton’s BMX family: 3 brothers dominate on bikes at provincials in Langley


@lgllockhart
logan.lockhart@pentictonwesternnews.com

curlinglocal sportsOkanaganPenticton

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