On Monday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Curling Canada officially announced the first-ever Canadian Olympic mixed doubles curling team and the men’s and women’s team alternates nominated to represent Canada at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
The mixed doubles team was selected based on its win at the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials held in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
The team comprises the athletes and coach:
Name / Position / Residence
Kaitlyn Lawes / Woman / Winnipeg, MB
John Morris / Man / Canmore, AB
Jeff Stoughton / National Mixed Doubles Coach / Winnipeg, MB
The concept of mixed doubles curling was developed in 2002 by former Curling Canada Director of Events Warren Hansen and former World Men’s Champion Neil Houston, who competed in the Olympic curling demonstration event at Calgary 1988.
After passing on the first opportunity to add mixed doubles curling to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games program, the International Olympic Committee announced in June 2015 that the event would make its Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018.
The PyeongChang 2018 mixed doubles curling event will take place February 8-13 (Days -1-4) at the Gangneung Curling Centre.
Additionally, Curling Canada and the COC confirmed the names of the alternate players for the Canadian men’s and women’s teams.
The men’s team, skipped by Kevin Koe, will have Scott Pfeifer (Sherwood Park, AB) as its alternate. Pfeifer is a three-time men’s World Champion while playing with Randy Ferbey, and won a fourth World Championship gold medal in 2016 as the alternate for Team Koe.
The women’s team, skipped by Rachel Homan, has added Cheryl Bernard (Calgary, AB) as its alternate. Bernard skipped Team Canada to a silver medal in curling at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
“Congratulations to the curlers nominated to be Canada’s first ever mixed doubles Olympic team. Your hard work and dedication has helped you reach this historic milestone. Best of luck in your final preparations, all of Canada will be cheering you on.”
– Isabelle Charest, PyeongChang 2018 Team Canada Chef de Mission
“Having the chance to represent Canada at the Olympic Winter Games is an absolute privilege, but to be able to make history at the same time by competing in the first Olympic mixed doubles curling competition makes it even more special. Fans are going to enjoy the fast pace of the action, and we know we have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks to prepare, but we are ready to embrace that challenge.”
– Kaitlyn Lawes PyeongChang 2018 nominated athlete
“Ever since the IOC approved mixed doubles curling in 2015, we’ve been working extremely hard to get to this position, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the team that we will send to PyeongChang. Both of these athletes are highly skilled and dedicated, and I know they will wear the maple leaf with pride and professionalism in South Korea.”
– Jeff Stoughton, Mixed Doubles Program Manager and National Coach, Curling Canada
“Both Scott and Cheryl bring key elements of podium performance experiences on the international stage to the mix, the value of which cannot be understated when it comes to the Olympic Winter Games. They have represented our country with class and dignity, and they each will contribute the kind of intangibles that can take a team to another level of performance. They will be called upon to play a key role in critical decision-making when the game is on the line and both athletes are very capable shot-makers under the stress of representing Canada on the world stage. We support and respect both teams’ choices of their alternates.”
– Gerry Peckham, Director, High Performance, Curling Canada
“It is very exciting to have mixed doubles curling on the Olympic program for the first time. There is no better occasion to debut this new Olympic discipline than at the upcoming Winter Games in PyeongChang. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share this event with curling fans around the world and are more excited than ever to be cheering on the very first Canadian Olympic mixed doubles team.”
– The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the COC’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations in late January 2018.
Story and Photo: The Canadian Olympic Committee