The 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kingston has been a great experience. I will remember
this forever. This tournament has changed me in a lot of ways. I
have learned a lot from the curlers, I have met so many great people and I finally
have the courage to interview people. Another awesome opportunity for me was raising money and awareness for the
Sandra Schmirler foundation. It has impacted my curling in a
lot of ways by making me a better curler, learning more from Cathy Overton-Clapham when she came to our club and raising the level of my love for the game.
This tournament has really inspired me to work harder and maybe one day
represent Ontario at the Brier and maybe representing Canada at the
Olympics. I am now going to learn about the game more, keep practicing
and keep playing with my wonderful Bantam Boys team for the rest of this year
and all of next year.
The amount of dedication from the fans to come out
and watch was out of this world. There were probably more people watching
curling on the weekends than an average Frontenac's game! It probably
took a lot of work for some fans to leave work early or take the day off.
We were really tired as spectators!
Thanks to all the volunteers,
organizers, the TV crew, the booths staff and volunteers, fans, and especially
the curlers! It takes a lot to leave your families for a week and try to
get a week off from your boss!
I'd like to say a special thank you to the following people for helping me with my blog and for bringing attention to it and to those who helped with my fundraising efforts for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation: - Mark Strachan - Larke Zarichny - Brian Ward - Sabena Islam - Robin Wilson - Lindsay McKeown - Jean Mills - Heather Nedohin - Sarah Wazney - Mary-Anne Arsenault - Stacie Devereaux - Lisa Weagle - Candace-Rose Gagnon - Stu Mills - Alex McKinney - Mr. Bryan Little - Cathy Overton-Clapham - All the people who donated money to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation including the King's Town School Community and members of the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club
As promised, even though the Scotties are over, I'm
updating the blog with some extra information I gathered during the week but
didn't have time to post.
On Monday February 18th, I got to go behind the
scenes at the Scotties to observe and participate in a media scrum. It
was very official. I had a press pass and had to fill in a request to
interview a player. I chose to interview Heather Nedohin one on one.
After the game against Quebec, Heather Nedohin
talked about the game and other stuff in a media scrum. Heather thought
her team played well and thought she was lucky on her double for 2 in the 1st
end. She thought her team played very well at the beginning of the game.
Heather commented about the consistency of her shots. Heather
especially knows how important consistency is when the week is filled with
intensity. They take each game "Game by game and shot by shot."
They relied on their support team and their Coach Darryl Horne to get
them ready and prepared for the next game. They knew the calibre of all
the teams at the tournament. They were not watching any other games nor
watching. They did see the results of the other games on the ice and the
standings board as they entered the hotel.
One question from another reporter was if they
intimidated any of the other teams as Team Canada. Heather couldn't
comment about that. She knew what it felt like to be facing Team Canada
when she was team Alberta.
Heather Nedohin loves throwing last stone, loves
having 2 sweepers and someone calling the 'awesome' line. She also says
"It takes 4 of us to make those skip shots and it takes 4 of us to miss
those shots. We win as a team, we lose as a team."
Heather likes to take risks, but not with her kids!
She says her kids are more daredevils then she is. Heather likes to
do a lot of fun things and sometimes takes risks. She loves speed.
She skis, snowmobiles and water-skis. One reporter asked if she
would skydive. Nedohin said, "Absolutely, if a plane is blowing up and I
need to put something on my back..." In curling when she has needs
to take risks she can. She sometimes has choices to get the 3 or just take the
1. They go over the pros and cons, the scoreboard and her positions in
the standings and make the decision.
After the scrum, I got a chance to have a 1 on 1
interview with Heather.
My 1st question was, “What do you need to improve
on to win this tournament?” The biggest key to winning the Scotties is
the unity of your team according to Nedohin. You also need to handle
adversity which is dealing with key or pressure situations whether things are
going really well or if there not. Heather and her team also say
"Grind through those tough moments." Heather also says that
sticking together and working as a unit to execute on any shot is good as well.
The 2nd question was, “Who do you think is your
toughest opponent?” She said "I think our toughest opponent is
always ourselves. There's times where you can be hard on yourself the
most and get distracted by the little things. There's no one team out
here that's above anyone else. The calibre of play at the Canadian level
is that any team here can possibly win. The biggest opponent at times is
yourself and keeping positive within yourself."
The 3rd question was, “Do you have the World's on
your mind again?” The worlds were not on Heather's mind at that time as
she had to look up where the world's were going to be played because she didn't
know where Latvia was. She said that they are focusing on each game…
The 4th and final question was, “What do you do in
Kingston when you are not playing?” Heather said, "We like to
say that we do 3 things; we eat, we sleep and we curl." They scout
out new restaurants and take in what is going on around them. They heard
that there were good pubs and pasta places here. They like to have
competitions between themselves as well. They have fun playing little
games. Whether it is charades or other silly games, they always have a
good time. "There are 2 members on my team that are blondes and
there are 2 members that are brunettes", Nedohin describes. Their
first game was Hot Shots. The Brunettes won and guess what the blondes
had to do at Up Close and Personal! They had to wear a balloon on their
wrist while wearing red boas.
After our interview,
Heather and I had a chance to just chat. Heather started curling as a 2nd when
she was 11. "I think I could throw better peel weight then than I
can now!" That got me a few laughs!
It was really amazing to have a one on one with a
Canadian Champion skip. She was so nice and treated me like a real
reporter. Our interview was early in the week and she still had a
lot of tough games ahead of her but she took the time to speak with me. This
is one of the amazing thing professional curlers – they are so fabulous with
Team Nedohin had a great week. Although they started the playoffs
as the number 3 seed, and almost beat Jennifer Jones in the semifinal, they
left Kingston without a medal. That was probably a disappointment for the
defending champion. I think we will be seeing a lot more of Team Nedohin
in future Scotties and since her team has already qualified for the Olympic
Trials, they won't let this setback at the Scotties get in their way of their goal
of representing Canada at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia!