Fond memories for Bodogh
Marilyn Bodogh has traded her curling broom for a set of golf clubs.
The 65-year-old Bodogh, who won two World Curling Championships in 1986 and 1996 and two Tournament of Hearts championships to go with them, seldom curls these days, preferring instead to spend her time on the links.
“I’m a terrible golfer,” Bodogh laughed. “I cheat all the time!
“It’s all about getting out and walking the fairway and getting on the green and listening to the sound of the ball go in. Now I know. I didn’t have the time or the patience back then. I don’t like the sun but I love the game of golf because I have time now.”
Bodogh, who is a member of the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club, teed off at least twice a week in the summer months.
“It saved me through the summer of COVID,” she said.
Bodogh may refer to herself a terrible golfer but she has a pair of aces to her credit and has come within a quarter of an inch of a third.
“One rule on our little golf team is no practice,” she said. “I practised for years every day for curling and I’m happy with my golf game. If it’s not a good day, there’s always a glass of wine on the balcony afterwards.”
Bodogh was introduced to golf and tennis as a youngster by her late father, Frank Bodogh.
“We were a family of eight and my dad was a great believer in keeping us busy,” she remembered. “My father made it a passion to keep the kids busy with sports. I’m grateful he put tennis and golf in front of us. I hated both of those sports because it was an individual sport and I didn’t survive individually.”
Bodogh then quickly fell in love with curling when she gave it a shot with sister Christine.
“When we hit the curling ice, Christine and I, our eyes lit up,” she said. “It was a clear vision. We knew.”
Bodogh loves the team aspect of curling.
“On our team, it was always four of us that always wanted to be the best,” she said. “Climbing the hill was the joy and when you finally did win, we knew this could happen if we really worked hard and we really worked hard.
“It wasn’t just on the ice, it was off the ice. We were a big believer in team dynamics. I was very fortunate to get two great teams that melded so quickly and so easily and was lucky to win two world championships.”
Bodogh’s first championship in 1986 set the table for a second title a decade later.
“When we won our first world championship, I remember (former St. Catharines Standard sports editor) Jack Gatecliff asking me, ‘How does this feel?’
“I remember telling him to ask we when we win a second time. I wasn’t finished at one. Every dream of any athlete is to be the best and win it with your teammates. You can’t ask for anything more.”
Bodogh said she is still close with her former teammates.
“Even though I’m not throwing rocks, I’m still with my curling family all the way from Halifax to Victoria Island,” she said. “I think that’s the part of winning now, remembering who you won it with and how you won it and where you won it. All those fulfilling feelings you have now.
“I remember our first coach, Lynn Reynolds, told us you will savour this victory when you’re older, not now. You will savour it, and remember it and cherish it more then.”
Bodogh, who was an Ontario Junior Curling champion for four consecutive years from 1968-1972, was inducted into the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 along with her sister Christine Jurgenson, Douglas Cove, Frank Madsen, George Hope, Jim Minards and Walter Marsh.
She appreciated being honoured in her adopted hometown.
“I’m a local girl and I always thought St. Catharines was the best place to live,” she said. “When my parents decided to move here from Toronto, it was all for the better. We could ride our bikes to school and I think if we would have stayed in Toronto I don’t think our family would have curled or golfed because those things weren’t affordable in Toronto.
“This is so home to me. Even when we travelled as much as we did, I always wanted to go home.”
With the 2020 induction ceremonies cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BPSN will be looking back and featuring select inductees from previous years
BPSN’s coverage of the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame is brought to you by Peter Partridge of Partridge Wealth Management of RBC Dominion Securities (www.peterpartridge.com).
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