1994 Rick Folk Rink (M)
Rick Folk and his Kelowna Curling Club teammates Pat Ryan, Bert Gretzinger, Gerry Richard, and team alternate, Ron Steinhauer, captured the BC, Canadian, and world men’s curling titles during the 1993-94 season.
Folk’s rink went into the 1994 BC championships as the top-ranked rink in the Interior Division. After winning the provincial title (the Labatt Tankard), they triumphed at the Canadian championships in Red Deer and brought the Labatt Brier back to BC for the first time in 30 years.
In April 1994, the Folk Rink competed in the world championships in Oberstdorf, Germany. Although they lost their first game against Switzerland in the initial round-robin, they went on to win the next ten, defeating Sweden in the final, and capturing Canada’s 22nd world title in 36 years.
Members of the team are seasoned competitors, each having enjoyed success with other rinks prior to coming together as a team in 1991. Rick Folk and Pat Ryan, from Saskatchewan and Alberta respectively, moved to BC in the late 1980s and joined the Kelowna Curling Club, where Bert Gretzinger and Gerry Richard were already members.
Prior to his remarkable 1994 season, Rick Folk won the BC Championships in 1989 and 1993. He competed in the Brier five times (three times for Saskatchewan and twice for BC), winning it in 1980. In 1974 and 1983, he was national mixed champion, and in 1980 he captured the world title.
Pat Ryan moved to BC from Winnipeg in 1989. His curling accomplishments include winning the 1993 BC championships and making six Brier appearances (with runner-up finishes in 1985 and 1993, and winning the title in 1988 and 1989). He was a finalist at the 1986 Canadian mixed tournament, skip for the finalist rinks at both the 1987 Olympic trials and the 1988 worlds, and for the world championship winners in 1989. In 1993, his 1989 rink was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame, and he was inducted as an individual the following year.
Also originally from Winnipeg, Bert Gretzinger always competed for BC and amassed three prior provincial titles (1976, 1989 and 1993). He was the runner-up at the Brier in 1989 and 1993.
Gerry Richard was born in BC and has been curling competitively for 28 years. He was a finalist at the 1974 Canadian junior championships and skipped the 1981 and 1988 provincial firefighters championship rinks. He also won the BC championship and competed in the lead position to the finals of the Brier in 1993.
Ron Steinhauer has been a member of the Folk Rink for three years. Prior to that, he curled in the Lead position with Bert Gretzinger, and with the Barry Smith Rink, which was runner-up for the Canadian mixed title in 1978.
The “Super Rink,” as the media dubbed them, continued to enjoy phenomenal success after the 1993-94 season, winning the 1995 provincial title.
Rick Folk (skip), Bert Gretzinger (second), Gerry Richard (lead), Pat Ryan (third), Ron Steinhauer (alternate).