Sandra Schmirler

by Megan from Yorkton

Olympics Hero

The reason I picked Sandra Schmirler as my hero is because she is a true small-town, Saskatchewan-born girl. Sandra Schmirler was born on July 11th, 1963 in Bigger, Saskatchewan. It was in Bigger where Sandra was introduced to curling by her parents. Later in 1981, when Sandra's team won the high school championship, her career was up and running. Sandra was employed full-time as the supervisor of the South East Leisure Centre in Regina. While working there, Sandra curled out of the Caledonian Curling Club, where the competition, even at the club level, was always world-class.

© Canadian Broadcasting Company
Schmirler "the Curler" on ice.

Then in 1991, Sandra's team won their first of six Saskatchewan Women's Championships. In 1993, Sandra's team won the Scott Tournament of Hearts, and then went on to win their first of three World Championships in Geneva, Switzerland. Sandra's team repeated this same feat one year later in Oberstdorf, Germany. When 1997 came along, Sandra's team once again won the World Curling Championship in Bern, Switzerland. Finally in 1998, Sandra topped off her curling career by winning the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Sandra Schmirler has raised the level of curling so high -- the sign of a true hero.

A true hero, indeed, Sandra was a wife to Shannon England and a mother of two daughters, Sara and Jenna, with whom she spent as much time as possible. She did all this while holding down a job and being a world-class curling champion.

© Canadian Broadcasting Company
Sandra Schmirler's team wins their third World Championship.

Sandra's world came tumbling down when, less than 2 months after the birth of her second daughter, Jenna, she discovered that she had cancer. Only four months before this her father had died of cancer. The greatest fight of her life had now begun, and it wasn't on ice. It was a battle that all of Canada would be drawn into. Sandra didn't have to reach out for support, it came from all over the world. For 6 long months Sandra's battle raged on, yet she continued to make public appearances, holding her head high and always wearing a smile.

Sandra passed away at the age of 36 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

© Saskatchewan Public Library
Schmirler was a devoted mother and a role model for her community.

I think Sandra Schmirler is a hero because she had a career -- she was a mother, as well as a 3-time Women's World Champion, Olympic gold medal winner, Hall of Famer, and a legend. She was a very good role model to young women everywhere in the world. She showed good sportsmanship on and off the ice. She always seemed to make time for her fans and family. She fought courageously and admirably against her battle with cancer. She is a person that anyone can admire and look up to.

Page created on 8/7/2008 10:27:38 AM

Last edited 1/7/2017 12:01:12 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links - "bridging the curling communities of the world"
The Sandra Schmirler Foundation

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