Road to Olympic curling begins
Nov 4, 2013 / 1:33 pm
Kelly Scott has never been short of confidence or enthusiasm.
Scott and her Kelowna Curling Club rink will have to be at their confident and enthusiastic best when the pre-Olympic curling trials begin Tuesday in Kitchener, ON.
Dubbed 'The Road to the Roar,' the pre-qualifying tournament brings 12 teams together looking for two spots in the Olympic Trials next month in Winnipeg.
Unlike provincial championships or The Scotties where teams play a full round robin, the pre-Olympic curling trials is a straight triple knockout.
"It's a quick tournament. There's no chance to settle in," stated Scott prior to leaving for Kitchener.
"In other events you can struggle a bit early and get it together later in the week for when it really matters. Here we have to be sharp from the start."
Along with Scott, a two-time Canadian champion, there are some big names and some familiar names.
The past two Canadian Olympic representatives are in the field of 12 including Shannon Kleibrink (2006) and Cheryl Bernard (2010).
It was Kleibrink who shattered Scott's Olympic dream when she beat the Kelowna foursome 8-7 in the 2005 final.
For all the curlers in the field the early season event means teams have to get their season started early.
"Every four years, you have to peak in November, not January," says Scott who admits the team is a bit behind other teams in the field as far as preparation goes.
In previous Olympic years, Scott and her rink played a heavy schedule leading up to the qualifying tournament.
She says that may have cause a bit of burnout.
"We've only played three events this year but we've been through the process before," says Scott.
"We're approaching it the other way - not as strenuous."
Scott and her team of third: Jeanna Schraeder, second Sasha Carter and lead Sarah Wazny have been at home the last three weeks preparing for this event.
Scott will take on Cathy Auld in her opening game at 11 a.m. local time Tuesday.
A win would propel her into a second round match-up with Kleibrink Wednesday.
The men's pre-Olympic qualifier is taking place at the same time.
Jim Cotter, with newly appointed skip John Morris, will also be looking for one of two spots in the Olympic qualifying tournament.
After receiving an opening draw bye, they will take on the winner of a first round game between Steve Laycock and Rob Rumfeldt.
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