P.E.I. curling coach Olympics-bound
'I'm still pinching myself here'
P.E.I. curling coach Peter Gallant, who is also father to world curling champion Brett Gallant, will be going to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea with the South Korean women's curling team.
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Gallant coaches a team in South Korea which just won the national championship, an Olympic qualifying tournament, Wednesday in Icheon, South Korea. Icheon is a city about three hours east of Seoul. Now the team will represent the country at the Olympic Games.
Seeing them reach this goal, it's a really special feeling for sure.— Peter Gallant
"Pretty exciting, I'm still pinching myself here," said Gallant.
Gallant has been curling most of his life and next year will be his first time at the Olympics.
A lot of emotions
"Until this opportunity came along I never really thought that it would ever happen unless I was going to watch my son play," he said.
He said the qualifying tournament was long with three stages, the first held in January. He said his team was able to beat a strong young team that curls out of another South Korean province in a best of seven, four games to one.
"There was a lot of emotions and you know there's tremendous amount of excitement."
Gallant has been coaching the team for the past 16 months and has seen the players develop and improve.
Working with translators
"Seeing them reach this goal, it's a real special feeling for sure."
The team has been curling for about 10 years, with the women 23 to 25 years old. The team includes two sisters.
Gallant said the women don't speak a lot of English, but they can still communicate, and they work with translators. He said because the Olympics are in Korea, it's a big deal for the team to become the ones to represent their country.
"They're very dedicated players and they work very hard every day," he said.
'Dream come true for sure'
Now he will help plan ahead with the team, deciding which events to take part in leading up to the games.
Although Gallant is Canadian, he saod he'll only be cheering for Canada when his Korean team isn't playing them.
Gallant connected with the Korean team through his son and curler Brett Gallant.
Brett may also be at the Olympics with his father. Team Gushue will compete in Olympic trials in December to represent Canada in South Korea at the Winter Olympics in 2018.
"It would be amazing just to be there at the same time that he's there playing as well so it would be a dream come true for sure," said Gallant.
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