Curling

Adam Casey feeling right at home at curling's Olympic pre-trials

Well-travelled skip grew up close to tournament venue in P.E.I.

Devin Heroux - for CBC Sports

November 10, 2017

Adam Casey hopes his winding curling path leads him to the Olympics this winter. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Adam Casey is something of a curling vagabond.

Consider this: In the past six seasons, he went to the Brier with Brad Gushue's Newfoundland and Labrador rink three times, then skipped his own Prince Edward Island team to the tournament twice, then joined three players from Saskatchewan to lead that province at last year's Brier.

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Casey's team is in Summerside, P.E.I., this week competing at the Canadian Olympic pre-trials. He grew up about 20 minutes away from the arena they're playing in this week, and is feeling right at home.

"It's awesome. I get to see family and friends. I love Summerside," he says. "I grew up here [and went to] high school here. It's an awesome city that gets behind their athletes."

Casey is something of a hometown curling hero on Prince Edward Island. In 2009, he won a Canadian junior championship as the third on a team skipped by Brett Gallant, who now plays second on Gushue's team.

Casey lives in Charlottetown now. He still curls with the rink from Saskatchewan — the other three players practice together in Regina while Casey works on his game in Charlottetown and flies out to the prairie province as often as possible to work with his teammates.

This week the situation is reversed: they've flown east to play in his backyard. Casey kicked his parents out of their home in Summerside this week so the entire team could stay close to the venue.

"We thought it might be too far going back and forth [from Casey's home in Charlottetown]," he says. "My parents are staying at my aunt's and uncle's."

Closing in on playoffs

Through five games at the pre-trials, Casey sits with a 2-3 record. Friday night his rink plays a pivotal game against Jason Gunnlaugson's team from Manitoba.

Should Casey win, he'll finish the round robin with a 3-3 record, which at the very least would give him a spot in a tiebreaking game to get into the playoffs.

Two teams will emerge from those playoffs with a berth in the Canadian Olympic trials next month in Ottawa, where Canada's representatives for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea will be decided.

Casey wants to give the hometown fans a reason to cheer going into the playoffs.

"If we can get rolling there'll be a crowd into the weekend for us," he says. "Whenever the crowd is behind you it's a good thing."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devin Heroux
CBC reporter

Devin Heroux reports for CBC News and Sports. He is now based in Toronto, after working first for the CBC in Calgary and Saskatoon.