Saint John, New Brunswick -- Jim Sullivan (CBC photo), son of New Brunswick curling legend Dave Sullivan, took up the game of curling at age 12 and never looked back. His contributions to the game both on and off the ice left a lasting impression on the Atlantic and Canadian curling culture.
Big, tall, and lanky, Jim could be seen smiling and talking to folks in curling clubs all across the Maritimes, and generally everyone he talked to smiled back. Jim had a large personality and love of people that earned him the reputation as being "the nicest guy you'll ever lose to."
The WGF Jim Sullivan Classic taking place this weekend at the Thistle St. Andrews in Saint John, New Brunswick was created to create awareness for mental health and to celebrate the legacy of this great man.
And true to that reputation, Jim did his share of winning. He skipped the junior team which captured the 1987 New Brunswick and Canadian Junior Men's Curling Championships and the 1988 World Junior Men's Curling Championship in Germany. The Sullivan Rink was New Brunswick's first world champion in any sport in more than 60 years. In 1990, Sullivan and his team were the Silver Medalists at the Labatt Brier losing to Ed Werenich in the final. The team was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Jim struggled with depression until he took his life in 2011. Jim's many friends including teammates, past and present, and competitors, wanted to honour Jim's memory resulting in the Jim Sullivan Curling Classic.
In addition to hosting great curling the organizers wanted to promote mental health awareness and partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association in Saint John. Numerous mental health professionals and people struggling with mental health issues have spoken at this event to raise awareness of this issue.
Jim Sullivan's legacy now goes well beyond curling. The Jim Sullivan Curling Classic honors Jim, his passion for the game and his friends in curling.
It's OK To Talk About Mental Illness.
There Is No Shame In Seeking Help.
There Is Hope After Diagnosis.
If you need help, here's a great place to start: