National Curling Champ Settles in Nicely at Trillium Woods

National Curling Champ Settles in Nicely at Trillium Woods, But Still Competitive

Trillium Woods in Plymouth, MN, is home to many fascinating seniors. One of the senior living community’s newest neighbors is a national curling champion who still plays the sport regularly. 

While growing up in Nova Scotia, Myrna MacKinnon wanted to start a girls’ curling team at her high school, having spent hours watching her dad’s team. When she took her idea to the principal, he said he couldn’t see how it would work. Resourceful and determined, young Myrna persisted and lined up all the necessary elements for a team — players, equipment, and ice time — without the school’s help, and soon, the team became a reality. 

Myrna has continued to curl competitively throughout her life, only taking breaks for her training as a nurse and for raising her children. 

The Scottish sport keeps her limber, both physically and mentally. “It’s a game of agility, skill, and strategy,” she says of the game that some call “chess on ice.” 

Among her many accomplishments as a lifelong athlete, Myrna helped her team win the U.S. Women’s Curling Association’s 1983 championship, which was, at the time, the apex of women’s curling in the U.S. — curling was not yet an Olympic sport.

While Myrna enjoys both the physical and mental challenge that curling represents, she loves the social aspect that curling has afforded her throughout her life. “For many years, I was president of the Arden Hills Curling Club in St. Paul,” she explains. “After our matches against other clubs, the tradition is to all have lunch together. We call it the 9th End — there are 8 Ends in a match — and it’s the same idea as the 19th Hole in golf. Good food and an active social life are very important to me, and they are among the reasons I chose Trillium Woods when looking for a community closer to my daughter. I’ve met so many friendly and interesting people here.” 

Myrna now devotes her summers to time on the links, though she continues to curl at Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, MN, during the rest of the year. “In the Blaine league, there are 12 teams with four people each,” she says. “It’s fun because everybody plays together — the teams are made up of men and women and young people of all different ages. It’s nice to see the sport growing in the U.S.”

When she’s not leading her team to victories on the ice, Myrna can be seen in friendly competition with her new neighbors at Trillium Woods. “I play Mah Jongg, cards, and ping-pong with my new friends here.” 

To stay fit, she and her daughter enjoy taking walks around nearby Lake Camelot. “It’s so nice to have everything I need so close by, including my daughter, who lives just 10 minutes away.”