Olympic Trials field announced
John Morris, front, will be without usual partner Rachel Homan, back, at next month's Mixed Doubles Olympic Trials in Portage la Prairie. (FILE PHOTO)
The field is set ahead of January's Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials and a collection of some of the country's finest curling talent will be on display at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.
A total of 18 teams will descend upon Portage la Prairie with hopes of wearing the Maple Leaf at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The field will be split into two pools of nine, with eight teams eligible to move into a modified double-knockout playoff.
“This is an amazingly talented field, but just as important, it’s an amazingly committed field,” said Jeff Stoughton, national coach of Canada’s mixed doubles program. “We know it’s going to take a special team to play for a gold medal in Pyeongchang, but I’m confident that the teams competing in Portage la Prairie have the skills and knowledge base to represent our country proudly in February.”
Teams qualified for the Portage event by virtue of results at the past two Canadian Mixed Doubles Championships as well as their standing on the Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings (CMDR).
The following is the full list of teams that have been invited, in order of their current standing on the (CMDR):
Rachel Homan (Ottawa, Ont.)/John Morris (Canmore, Alta.)
Joanne Courtney (Edmonton, Alta.)/Reid Carruthers (Winnipeg, Man.)
Jennifer Jones/Brent Laing (Shanty Bay, Ont.)
Jocelyn Peterman (Calgary, Alta. )/Brett Gallant (St. John’s, N.L)
Chelsea Carey (Calgary, Alta.)/Colin Hodgson (Winnipeg, Man.)
Kalynn Park (Edmonton, Alta.)/Charley Thomas (Calgary, Alta.)
Dawn McEwen/Mike McEwen (Winnipeg, Man.)
Emma Miskew (Ottawa, Ont.)/Tyrel Griffith (Kelowna, B.C.)
Lisa Weagle (Ottawa, Ont.)/John Epping (Toronto, Ont.)
Laura Crocker (Edmonton, Alta.)/Geoff Walker (St. John’s, N.L.)
Nancy Martin (Saskatoon, Sask.)/Catlin Schneider (Regina, Sask.)
Marliese Kasner (Shellbrook, Sask.)/Dustin Kalthoff (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Val Sweeting (Edmonton, Alta.)/Brad Gushue (St. John’s, N.L.)
Kim Tuck/Wayne Tuck (Strathroy, Ont.)
Emilie Desjardins/Robert Desjardins (Chicoutimi, Que.)
Nicole Westlund-Stewart/Tyler Stewart (Kitchener, Ont.)
Dana Ferguson (Edmonton, Alta.)/Brendan Bottcher (Sherwood Park, Alta.)
Shannon Birchard/Jason Gunnlaugson (Winnipeg, Man.)
It should be noted that the event will follow the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials. An event where Canada’s four-player men’s and women’s teams for Pyeongchang will be decided. Due to the rigours of the Olympic curling schedule, members of Canada’s Olympic four-player teams won’t be eligible to compete in the Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials and the field is subject to change.
CBC Sports will televise the closing weekend of the 2018 Trials as well as offer extensive streaming coverage of round-robin play.
The first Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials are scheduled for Jan. 2-7 at Stride Place. Tickets are now available at curling.ca/2018mixeddoublestrials/tickets/ or locally at Stride Place and Portage Curling Club.