New Zealand curler Ben Smith never could have imagined spending the winter at a retirement home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as Team Hood trains for the 2026 world championships which will take place in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Thanks to word-of-mouth generosity among Calgary curlers, the four men are the newest, and youngest, tenants of two suites in Chartwell Colonel Belcher Retirement Residence, where weekly activities include bridge lessons and cupcake socials and the average age is 84. Learning that the team was looking for cheap rent, Kim Forge, a board member of the World Curling Federation, asked Calgary curlers for help. Former competitive curler Cassandra Murray, now a consultant at Chartwell, offered a place to stay. Since arriving in September, the team has financed its curling dreams through day jobs and augmented its training by hiring Carolyn McRorie, a member of the Canadian women's team which won silver in 2010, as a part-time coach.

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