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Canadian curling icon 'Shorty' Jenkins passes away

The Canadian Press

4/11/2013 8:01:04 PM

TORONTO -- Clarence (Shorty) Jenkins, the iconic curling icemaker known for his customary pink cowboy hat, died Thursday after a lengthy illness. He was 77.

Jenkins was one of the first icemakers to start experimenting with water, scraping patterns and rocks to try to make a livelier ice surface.

"I don't think there's a doubt that he's the most influential icemaker ever," Canadian Curling Association ice technician Dave Merklinger said in a statement. "He reinvented the game of curling by making the ice entertaining, by making it consistent to allow curlers to make shot after shot after shot and play with confidence."

Born in Hanna, Alta., in 1935, Jenkins got into icemaking after serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was the head icemaker at various national and Ontario championships in his career. He also authored a number of instructional manuals on the craft of making ice for the Canadian Curling Association and Ontario Curling Association.

The AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic, a World Curling Tour event, was named in his honour.