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Canada’s Chelsea Carey inspired by dad Dan

Canada skip Chelsea Carey makes a shot as second Jocelyn Peterman and lead Laine Peters sweep during the 3rd draw against Switzerland at the Women's World Curling Championship in Swift Current, Sask. Sunday, March 20, 2016. Carey is drawing inspiration from her dad Dan, a former Brier champion. Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. – Dan Carey doesn’t want to talk about himself anymore. He just wants to speak about his daughter Chelsea Carey, who’s Canada’s skip at the women’s curling world championship in Swift Current, Sask. Winnipeg’s Dan Carey, who won a Brier with Manitoba to become Canada’s men’s national champion in 1992, wants her to have the spotlight all to herself.

“I’m to the point where ‘that’s enough about me,’ she’s the one who’s doing it,” said Dan on Wednesday afternoon in the concourse at Credit Union i-Plex where he’s watched all of Chelsea’s games at the international tournament. “I helped like any other parent would help. I accommodated her passion for the game.

Chelsea won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts on Feb. 28 with her Calgary-based rink after moving to Alberta two years ago. Before that, she led Manitoba to a bronze in 2014. This year’s national championship entered her into the worlds, which Canada has not won since 2008.

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Although Dan doesn’t want to take credit for Chelsea’s considerable accomplishments, his 31-year-old daughter says he’s an inspiration.

“Unless you’ve got a few hours I don’t even think I can begin to explain it. He’s the reason that I started curling,” said Chelsea on Tuesday. “I watched him win the Brier in 1992, grew up following him around to every curling club there was and wearing out his curling tapes. He coached me for my whole life until right now. He still is coaching me personally.

“I wouldn’t be here without him, I wouldn’t be half the player I am or half the person I am without him.”

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Dan says that watching his daughter compete and represent Canada is “awesome,” and that when she’s asked for it he’s given her some simple advice.

“Just enjoy it. You’re living the dream,” said Dan. “It gets overwhelming. You’ve got tricky ice conditions, you’re in the hunt, you’re wearing the Maple Leaf, you’ve got everyone cheering you on. That Maple Leaf can get pretty heavy. You add all that up and it gets really fatiguing.”

That mental battle is something that the elder Carey tries to keep in perspective for Chelsea.

“You get tired and you start to lose a little bit of perspective when you’re not making shots and people aren’t making shots, it’s pretty easy to get off kilter a little bit so I’m just trying to remind her ‘you’re living the dream.'”

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Regardless of Canada’s results at the world championship, Dan is proud of the woman his daughter has become. He says that, as a father, it’s Chelsea’s character that he loves more than her performance on the ice.

“I don’t think she’s ever gotten enough credit for the person that she is on the ice,” said a beaming Dan. “She’s very classy with the other team, she lifts her broom when they make their shots. Curlers’ etiquette she has to the umpteenth degree.”

Although they’re very close, Dan and Chelsea do disagree on one thing: who the more accomplished curler is.

Dan believes his daughter has done more in her young career, while Chelsea points to her father’s long track record of success.

“If I win here then he is right and I would take that,” said Chelsea. “He went to three Briers, made two finals and won one, so I feel like I’d have to make the Scotties next year to be the same or win this world championship, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Dan’s hoping that she becomes a world champion because then it would be a win-win situation.

“I think she’s done more in the game already than I ever did and she thinks I have,” said Dan.

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“But I’ve never won a world championship, if she does that, I win the argument.”

Round-robin play at the women’s curling world championship continues on Thursday, with the final on Sunday.

 

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