Saturday, October 1, 2022

Curling's Olympic cycle hits the reset button as Canada looks to return to the top CBC Sports

A new Olympic cycle has begun, marking the start of a four-year grind for Canada’s elite curlers, who are expected to wear a maple leaf at the next Winter Games in 2026.

That’s exactly what it all became now – every four years the Curlers exhaust themselves in a tireless effort to be able to represent the country at the Games.

And in the curling-crazy country of Canada, it seems there is more pressure on rock-throwers than in any other Olympic cycle.

Canada’s place in the upper echelons of the curling world is no longer a given – Canadians have had great success at the Olympics since returning to the sport’s program in 1998, but that has changed over the past two cycles.

Fans have become accustomed to seeing podium performances in curling at sports. Only Brad Gushuay was able to achieve a medal – bronze – at the Beijing Games.

“We’re looking long enough and making sure we’re ready for March and April. Another four years. We don’t want to put ourselves out there. We’re not spring chickens,” Gushu said.

“The season has gotten longer and longer. It will take a while for our mojo to move.”

There is always a lot at stake but this time around the ring it seems different.

Watch l That Curling Show preview the inaugural mixed doubles super series:

That Curling Show: Inaugural Mixed Doubles Super Series preview

Mackenzie Zacharias and Carly Burgess are excited about winning the Pointsbet Invitational with Jennifer Jones, Bruce Mouatt helps preview the upcoming mixed doubles Super Series, Reed Carruthers has a new perspective on becoming a dad, and us St. Get live performances from the actors. New curling music, second shot.

These early days of the new quadrangle are massively interesting. There was an unparalleled amount of teams rocking the granite landscape in Canada in the wake of last season, something we’ve never seen before.

Rachel Homan and Tracy Fleury have teamed up with Emma Misque and Sarah Wilkes. Jennifer Jones is now leaving the Mackenzie Zacharias World Junior Champion team. Caltin Laws, who was third for Jones for years, is now leaving his team.

Brett Gallant left Gusheau and Company to join Brendan Boucher, Ben Hebert and Mark Kennedy. Brad Jacobs has been away from the four-man game for at least a year.

EJ Harden, who plays with Jacobs, replaces Gallant in Gushey’s team.

Kevin Coe is now playing alongside Boucher’s old front-end Karrik Martin and Brad Thiessen – with Tyler Tardy playing third on the team. Matt Dunstone has returned to Manitoba to play alongside BJ Neufeld, Colton Lott and Ryan Harden. Reed Carruthers is leaving the team made up of Jason Gunnalogson, Derek Samgalski and Conor Njegovan.

This is a dizzying amount of change. And the above is just a small piece of the many other changes that happened during the off-season. And perhaps there is more to come based on the performance of this first season.

But now we’re getting our first glimpse of those newly formed teams and work through some of the staggering growing pains.

Take for example what happened a week ago at the Pointsbet Invitational in Fredericton.

The newly formed single-elimination format was a refreshing twist, starting the season with a $50,000 check to the winning women’s and men’s team.

And while many expected top seed Kerry Einarson to make it to the rink and Gushyu rink finals, it was Jones and Carruthers who surprised by defeating Einarson and Gushyu, respectively, in the semi-finals.

Then they would win the championship game.

‘we are a team. we are all equal’

Jones, who leads this young team, is feeling excited and excited about what’s to come.

“It’s really exciting. If I can make an impact that makes me feel really good,” Jones said.

“I just love curling. It’s given me so much more than I ever dreamed of. We’re a team. We’re all the same. They’re so selfless. They want what’s best for the team. I see the fire.” They remind me I’m one of them when I was their age. They’re so excited to play and practice. That’s life for me. Experiment and find ways to be better.”

Zakarias, who left Canada to win the World Junior in 2020 and is just 23 years old, says she is still wrapping her head around playing Jones.

“She has so much passion and drive for curling. She’s brought so much to our team. It’s amazing to have her to hold the broom,” Zacharias said.

“The first time we were on call with her it was a little intimidating. This is Jennifer Jones. I wanted to be like her one day. Getting the opportunity to play with her is like a dream come true.”

Carruthers, who recently became a father after the birth of his son Bo, is rejuvenated and focused, with a new team and a fresh outlook.

He defeated Gushu in the semi-finals and then defeated Dunstone in the final.

“I knew if we got on a roll we could win it. We were the number-five seeds. We’re all in a very good mental place,” Carruthers said.

look | Carruthers beat Dunstone in Pointsbet Invitational Men’s Final

Team Carruthers capture the big payday at the PointsBet Invitational Curling Event

Reed Carruthers and his rink beat Team Dunston 8-4 in the Pointsbet Invitational final in Edmonton on Sunday.

He admits that there will be some adjustments to the new team, but he wants to put pressure on the rest of Canada to raise the level of their game.

“We have to hold all these other teams accountable,” Carruthers said.

Several teams participating in Fredericton are now preparing for the first Grand Slam curling event in North Bay next week.

Things are about to get very busy not only for four-person teams but also in the world of mixed doubles.

Mixed Doubles Super Series

A newly formed mixed doubles super series has been set up with the first of five events taking place this weekend at Carlton Place, just outside Ottawa.

Some of the top Canadian and international mixed doubles teams are competing in the event – ​​in one of the marquee matchups, Great Britain’s Jane Dodds and Bruce Mouet take on Brad Jacobs and Kerry Einarson on Saturday afternoon.

Fans can watch the event live and with championship games all weekend on CBC Gem Sundays at 5 p.m. ET

We’ve seen players like Laura Walker and Kirk Muers move away from the four-person game and focus solely on mixed doubles, something many in the sport is going to be the norm for years to come.

There are bound to be twists and turns and possibly more team turns on the pebble ice for the Winter Games in 2026.

That journey begins now.

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