Mark Nichols (curler)

Mark Nichols, ONL (born on January 1, 1980 in Labrador City, Newfoundland) is a Canadian curler from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.[1] He currently throws third rocks for the Brad Gushue rink. Nichols is a former Olympic champion curler, having played third for Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics where the team won a gold medal. He also won a World championship with Gushue in 2017.

Mark Nichols
Mark Nichols at the March 2018 Elite 10 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Born (1980-01-01) January 1, 1980
Team
Curling clubBally Haly G&CC,
St. John's, NL
SkipBrad Gushue
ThirdMark Nichols
SecondBrett Gallant
LeadGeoff Walker
Career
Brier appearances15 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
World Championship
appearances
2 (2017, 2018)
Olympic
appearances
1 (2006)
Top CTRS ranking1st (2012-13, 2016-17 & 2017-18)
Grand Slam victories12: The National (2010, 2013, 2015); Masters (2014, 2017); Canadian Open (2014, 2017); Elite 10 (2016, Sept. 2018); Players' (2016); Tour Challenge (2017); Champions Cup (2018)

Career

In 1995, Nichols played for Newfoundland at the Canada Games, placing eighth.[2]

Between 1999 and 2011, Nichols lived in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, where he played third for the Brad Gushue rink. It was with Gushue where he represented Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics. With Gushue, Nichols has been to three Canadian Junior Curling Championships (1999, 2000, and winning in 2001) and eleven Briers (2003-2005, 2007-2011, 2015–2017). He also qualified for the 2013 and 2014 Brier with Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton rink. He won the World Junior Curling Championships in 2001 with Gushue as well. He also won Gold in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, at which he threw a spectacular shot - running back a guard onto another stone which picked another rock that was sitting in a dead zone - in the 6th end of the final against Finland, helping Canada to score 6. Certainly one thing to aid their victory was the fact that Nichols shot a blistering 97 percent in the gold medal final. "When he’s playing that way, we don’t lose very much," said Gushue.[3] He is also the 2017 Brier Champion, again as third for Gushue, defeating Kevin Koe 7-6 in the final, helping Gushue to win the Brier in his 14th appearance. This was an especially sweet victory for Nichols who had lost 3 Brier finals previously- with Gushue to Glenn Howard in 2007, with Stoughton to Brad Jacobs in 2013, with Gushue to Kevin Koe in 2016. At the 2018 brier he went back-to-back as brier champion, but this time he was a member of Team Canada defeating Brendan Bottcher of Alberta 6-4 with fellow skip Brad Gushue.

He briefly retired from curling after the 2011 Brier, although he always suggested he might return at some point, which he did for the 2012-2013 season as Jeff Stoughton's lead. He would play 2 whole seasons with Jeff, winning a silver at the 2013 Brier, and in the middle of the 2013-2014 season moved to throwing second stones for Jeff, missing the playoffs at the Canadian Olympic Trials, but winning a bronze at the 2014 Brier. He left the Stoughton rink to reunite with Brad after the 2014 Brier.

He won the Ford Hot Shots shot-making competition at the 2005 Brier, winning a two-year lease on a new Ford vehicle.

Nichols also skipped team Newfoundland and Labrador with Shelley Nichols, Brent Hamilton and Jennifer Guzzwell to a Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in 2005.

Personal life

Nichols is a business owner [4] and personal trainer with Orangethory Fitness. In the summer of 2011, Nichols married his longtime girlfriend and fellow curler Colette Lemon. They have two children.[5] In August 2011, Nichols ran for the Progressive Conservative nomination in the district of Labrador West losing to Nick McGrath.[6]

Teams

SeasonSkipThirdSecondLead
2002–03Brad GushueMark NicholsJamie KorabMark Ward
2003–04Brad GushueMark NicholsJamie KorabMark Ward
2004–05Brad GushueMark NicholsKeith RyanJamie Korab
2005–06Brad GushueMark NicholsMike Adam
Russ Howard (skip)
Jamie Korab
2006–07Brad GushueMark NicholsChris SchilleJamie Korab
2007–08Brad GushueMark NicholsChris SchilleDavid Noftall
2008–09Brad GushueMark NicholsRyan FryJamie Korab
2009–10Brad GushueMark NicholsRyan FryJamie Korab
2010–11*Brad GushueRandy Ferbey (skip)Mark NicholsRyan Fry
2011*Brad GushueMark NicholsRyan FryJamie Danbrook
2012–13Jeff StoughtonJon MeadReid CarruthersMark Nichols
2013–14Jeff StoughtonJon MeadReid CarruthersMark Nichols
Jeff StoughtonJon MeadMark NicholsReid Carruthers
2014–15Brad GushueMark NicholsBrett GallantGeoff Walker
2015–16Brad GushueMark NicholsBrett GallantGeoff Walker
2016–17Brad GushueMark NicholsBrett GallantGeoff Walker
2017–18Brad GushueMark NicholsBrett GallantGeoff Walker
2018–19Brad GushueMark NicholsBrett GallantGeoff Walker
2019–20Brad GushueMark NicholsBrett GallantGeoff Walker

Awards

  • World Junior Curling Championships: All-Star Third - 2001
  • Brier: First Team All-Star, Lead - 2013
  • Brier: First Team All-Star, Second - 2014
  • Brier: First Team All-Star, Third - 2018
  • Brier: Second Team All-Star, Third - 2004, 2016, and 2017
  • World Men's Curling Championship: All-Star Third - 2017 and 2018

References

  • Mark Nichols on the World Curling Federation database
  • Mark Nichols on the World Curling Tour database
  • Mark Nichols on the CurlingZone database
  • Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Mark Nichols". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
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