Canada’s top female curlers set sights on December Olympic trials in Ottawa

Skip Chelsea Carey shares a laugh with teammates at the Autumn Gold Curling Classic.
Skip Chelsea Carey shares a laugh with teammates at the Autumn Gold Curling Classic. Global News

It only comes around once every four years.

“It’s looming over you in either a positive way or negative way,” Calgary skip Chelsea Carey said.

She’s addressing the opportunity to represent Canada on the biggest stage in sport: the Olympic Games.

“It’s definitely there.  I think anyone that tells you it isn’t is lying because it’s huge. I mean, that’s what we play for,” Carey added.

“To be able to attend and represent Canada on that stage is just something that is rare and will be an incredible opportunity,” Ontario skip Allison Flaxey said.

But you have to win the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Olympic trials first. It’s no easy task considering it features nine of the top men’s and women’s teams in the country.

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On the women’s side, seven of those nine teams have already secured their spot. Chelsea Carey (Calgary, Alta.), Michelle Englot (Winnipeg, Man.), Allison Flaxey (Toronto, Ont.), Rachel Homan (Ottawa, Ont.), Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg,  Man.), Chelsea Scheidegger (Lethbridge, Alta.) and Val Sweeting (Edmonton, Alta.).

“You’re there. We all know we’re the top teams in Canada and now it’s just who proves it that week,” Flaxey said.

“We’re pumped about it… The trials is a great event so we’re really looking forward to it,” Carey said.

The field will be completed through the Road to the Roar Pre-Trials, from Nov. 6-12 at Credit Union Place in Summerside, P.E.I.

Four years ago it was Jennifer Jones’ foursome that prevailed at the trials and turned it into an Olympic gold medal in Sochi. They’ll be back to defend their title but it’s hard to argue who the favourite will be in December.

Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew (third), Joanne Courtney (second) and Lisa Weagle (lead) are the reigning Canadian and World champs. They’ll also be playing in their hometown in Ottawa.

“Not too many people get to play in their hometown and at such a big event, big stage. So [we’re] really grateful we get to share it… with our friends and our family.”
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“I’ve gone to watch the (Ottawa Senators) in that building since I can remember,” Miskew said. “We get to go play in a building I’m familiar with… Everyone really wants this to be their best year and everyone wants a chance to go to the Olympics.”