Krista McCarville says her team may go about its business differently than other top-tier rinks as they prepare for next month's Canadian Olympic Curling Trials but the skip from Thunder Bay, Ont., believes they have as good a chance as anyone to win.
McCarville and her rink, consisting of Kendra Lilly, Ashley Sippala and Sarah Potts, have qualified for the 2017 Canadian Olympic trials in Ottawa in December. The winner will represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"I'm excited to be there and I'm very happy to be there, and I think, you know, if our team curls the way we have been, I think we can win it," she told CBC Thunder Bay.
What makes the team, which consists of athletes from Thunder Bay and Sudbury, a bit different, McCarville said, is, generally, they travel less for competitions than other elite teams and hold down full-time jobs away from the curling rink.
"That's just what we choose to do, I love my job of teaching and I'm not willing to give it up," she said. "Same with the other girls, they love their jobs and it works for us."
Some teams travel to play in events as often as every weekend during the curling season; by comparison, McCarville said, her rink is on the road for only five or six events per year.
During competition season, however, the team is on the ice daily, practicing, she said, adding that the team remains focused on the gym and nutrition.
"When I'm curling, I'm thinking only about curling, when I'm working, I'm only thinking about working," she said.
The importance of competing in Ottawa is not lost on the foursome, McCarville said, but added that the key is to take things one day, and step, at a time. "It's a very long week of curling and you can't think too far ahead because you don't want to get wrapped up in thinking about outcomes," she said.
"You want to, basically, think about your performance and one game at a time."
Still, that doesn't mean McCarville doesn't think about what it would mean to wear the Maple Leaf on the world stage.
"It would honestly be a dream come true," she said. "We do work very, very hard."