Dynasties are hard to come by in sports, especially curling, but for Prince Albert’s Marjorie Olson, that term certainly applies.
Born in Glenalen, Ontario, Olson moved to the Kinistino district at the age of 14 and a decade later she settled in Prince Albert.
Olson began her competitive curling career in the early 1940s and by the end of that decade she was one of the premier skips in the province.
In fact, beginning in 1948, Olson was a member of seven straight northern champion rinks with the last six seeing her throwing skip stones. In 1951 everything came together for Olson as she became the first Prince Albert woman to win the T. Eaton Trophy as provincial women’s curling champion. Joining Olson on the championship team were Peggy McQuarrie at third. Scotty Johnston at second and Florence Jackson at lead.
The same foursome repeated as northern champions in 1952, but lost out in the provincial final. Olson had to alter her team’s composition for each of the next three years, but the results were still the same as she continued her domination in the northern play downs.
Then in 1955, with just Jackson remaining from the championship team of four years earlier, Olson made a return trip to the top of the provincial women’s curling scene. Joining Olson and Jackson were Mary Reid at second and Isabelle Hill at third. The Olson foursome went one level higher this time taking the Western Canadian Championship held in Winnipeg.
Olson continued to curl at a club level for the next nine years, and in 1964 the inaugural Saskatchewan Legion Auxiliary Championship was held in Melfort and once again Olson rose to the top of the provincial field. Joining Olson on this rink were Jackson at third, Audrey Dent at second and Betty Bassett at lead.
Olson curled competitively for the remainder of the decade and into the early 1970’s and during this time she skipped another rink to a northern title despite being 65 years of age. Olson added a couple of more district titles in the senior women’s playdowns early in the 1970s before her career finally slowed down.
A dominant figure in the prize presentations at local bonspiels throughout her career, she was honoured by the Prince Albert Ladies Curling Club with a life membership in 1973.
The legacy of Marj Olson is truly a rich one and the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame is proud to include her on its honour roll in the athlete’s category.
Inducted into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.