OlympicHopefuls - Curling
Written by Admin
In their four-odd years of curling together, these women have won three Canadian Scotties Tournament of Hearts Championships and were named the 2008 World Women’s Curling champions.
While they have met their qualifications to play at the 2010 Games, the pre-trials won’t begin until the first week of December. Team third, Cathy Overton-Clapham, doesn’t feel that there is any benefit in worrying at this point. “I don’t think anyone’s nervous. We’re really excited to curl in one of Canada’s biggest events,” she explains.
During the trials, the top three teams will go to the finals, narrowed to the top two, and the decision of who will represent Canada at the Games will be decided in a sudden-death match.
The team trains every day, which can be tough considering each of the women also has a career, and that Overton-Clapham is mom to two young children. “Every day we throw rocks, and each team member has a personal trainer who they work with several times a week,” she says. “We love to play and that’s what we do every day.”
The fact that such a young team may be representing Canada at the Olympics is an impressive feat. If they make it, it would be a dream come true for each of them. “Being part of the best event in the world…it’s every child that plays sports’ dream,” Overton-Clapham says. “Being part of one team (Team Canada), just seeing your dream actually happen, would be a thrill.”
Looking forward to the trials and the Games, there don’t seem to be any major hurtles standing in their way. No injuries to speak of, and even funding–which is paid for by the athletes themselves–is under control. The team has been lucky enough to get some amazing sponsors including Monsanto Canada, Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors, the Sexton Group, Wellington West, and Asham Curling Supplies. “We’re lucky to have such great support,” gushes Overton-Clapham.
Given that Manitoba is such a curling haven, it’s no surprise that the team has been supported at every turn. “We get a lot of support from Manitoba, and the coverage we get in the media in Winnipeg is amazing,” she says. “We love playing at home and we’re fortunate to have great support.”
As far as who they would most like to share the news with should they make the Olympic cut, she explains that most of those people will be with them at the trials. For every major bonspiel or competition they’re in, family travels with them as a support team. She laughs, “We’ll probably just be telling ourselves: ‘Hello?! We’re going to the Olympics!’”
Overton-Clapham’s words of advice for anyone else who dreams of making it to the Olympics: “Just believe and work hard–know that you can achieve it–there’s so much pressure, but you have to have fun.”