Terri-Jane Yuzda

Professional Engineer Wins Third Brier

The Curling Engineer
David Nedohin, P.Eng., second from right, celebrates
a record third straight Brier championship. Photo reprinted
with permission from the Halifax Herald

Freelance Writer

For the Randy Ferbey rink of Edmonton, curling successes keep rolling in, most recently in the form of a third consecutive Brier championship. And if you looked closely at those front-page newspaper photos of the Brier Tankard held aloft, you might have noticed that the famous Iron Ring of the engineering profession graces one of the curler's hands.

The ring belongs to David Nedohin, P.Eng., a 29-year-old partner in C.T. and Associates Engineering in Edmonton. He was again part of the Ferbey team from Edmonton's Avonair Curling Club, which last month in Halifax won its third consecutive Nokia Brier.

Mr. Nedohin throws fourth stones for the Ferbey rink. The 43-year-old Ferbey throws third rocks and skips the games, Scott Pfeifer is second and Marcel Rocque is the lead.

The team capped a perfect 13-0 run at this year's Brier, with a tense 8-4 win over Mark Dacey of Nova Scotia at the Halifax Metro Centre on March 9. The Ferbey rink is the first team ever to win three consecutive Briers, and Mr. Ferbey himself is now the winningest Brier player ever, with five titles.

Mr. Nedohin played a major role in all three Brier wins. And his professional and business life is taking off, too. One of five partners with C.T. and Associates, Mr. Nedohin is a 1996 civil engineering graduate of the University of Manitoba. The partners began their company about a year ago, and they have experienced continued success since then.

"We opened the doors and we had calls the very first day," says Mr. Nedohin, and the company has stayed busy.

Located in west Edmonton, C.T. and Associates is named after senior engineer C.T. Hwang, P.Eng. The company specializes in geotechnical and environmental consulting services on a wide variety of projects (residential, commercial and industrial). It also has a fully CSA certified materials testing lab and employs a number of technicians.

Add a busy curling career to an equally busy professional life and family life (he and wife Heather have a nine-month-old daughter, Halle), and Mr. Nedohin has a packed schedule. One of the reasons he's able to devote so much time to curling is that the other partners cover for him in the winter.

Not that there aren't personal sacrifices, too. "I haven't taken a holiday other than curling in the last six years." Mind you, heading off to various bonspiels instead of some place warm has been a lucrative pursuit. This season alone, the Ferbey rink made about $230,000.

Mr. Nedohin also says his curling exploits have been beneficial for his company. "It's not a bad promotional thing for the company. There's no question, it (curling fame) definitely helps."

After their successful defence of their Brier title, Mr. Nedohin and his teammates primed themselves for the World Championships in Winnipeg, which take place from April 5-13, about the time The PEGG reaches readers.

It's an event Mr. Nedohin looked particularly forward to, especially because Winnipeg is his hometown. He didn't think there'd be any more pressure on him, curling in front of family and friends. Rather, the makeup of the crowd would be a tremendous boost.

"Anytime you represent Canada, you know there's a whole lot of pressure to win. But being in Winnipeg adds more support. We really thrive on the crowd. -I think it's going to be fabulous."

The team is coming off the tremendous high of winning its third straight Brier title, an unprecedented feat in men's curling.

Asked to compare his three Brier titles, Mr. Nedohin says: "Every one was pretty special. The first one was just shock, the second one was special being in Calgary and our home province." As for this year's third title, it holds a special place in the curlers' hearts because of its position in the record books.

An added bonus was not losing a game in Halifax. "Going undefeated was nice just to talk about. But just winning the Brier was important," says Mr. Nedohin.
With the focus changed to winning a second consecutive world title, the Edmonton curlers were heavily favoured.

A sound work ethic has to be partially responsible for all this success. Usually the team spends five or six days a week practicing, with one or two days off. Mr. Nedohin says the teammates did manage a week's break after the Brier, but returned to the ice March 15 to prepare for the Worlds.

However, the biggest key to the Ferbey rink's almost otherworldly success is chemistry, on and off the ice. "We put a lot of time into the game and practicing, just to prepare ourselves properly. Our team is very cohesive. We're great friends off the ice, and we just gel as a team," Mr. Nedohin says. "As a team, we've proven ourselves to be one of the best in the world."

When they're not attending their numerous bonspiels, they also curl once a week in the Edmonton Super League. And Mr. Nedohin says that in the summer the team's families get together occasionally for barbecues.

He believes it's that solid unity that's allowed them to experience so many highs on the curling ice.

Ironically, Mr. Ferbey was very close to hanging up his curling shoes back in 2001. Leading into the provincial championships in Stettler that year, the skip told his teammates that if they didn't win the province, he would retire.

But they won, beating Kevin Martin in the final. And they've basically been winning ever since. Now, Mr. Nedohin says the four curlers are committed to keeping the team intact right through the 2005 Olympic trials.

If they win that event, they'll be Canada's representatives at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

Winning has this way of keeping a team together. And Ferbey, Nedohin and the others definitely don't appear tired of winning - which is bad news for the other high level men's teams in Alberta and Canada.

"It's going to be interesting to see how long we can stay at this level," says Mr. Nedohin. "We're going to have to find ways to stay just as hungry and driven."


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