P.E.I.'s Peter Gallant hopes to lead South Korean women curlers to Olympics
'It's such a new sport here and most Koreans don't even know about it'
He's played in nine Briers and done some coaching in the past — now Peter Gallant of P.E.I. is the national coach for Team South Korea at the world women's curling championship, and eyeing the Olympics.
"With the Olympics coming up in Korea in 2018, they were looking for a full-time Canadian coach to help them develop even further," Gallant told CBC Radio: Island Morning's Mitch Cormier from Beijing, China, where his team was competing Monday.
Peter is the father of Brett Gallant, who's part of the Brad Gushue team that won the Brier — the Canadian men's curling championship — last weekend.
Team Gushue had visited Korea twice to help develop the sport there, and that's how Peter Gallant got the job,he said.
"My name came up, the contacts were made, and it's all worked out," said Gallant, who's now been coaching the EunJung Kim team for the last couple of years.
'Stepped away from playing'
"It was something I've been looking to do, I've kind of stepped away from playing the game, and looking to get more into the coaching at a high level, so it was really a good fit for me," Gallant said.
The women on his team — he calls them "girls" — are eager to learn and are good athletes, he said, adding "they're like my daughters now."
"It's such a new sport here and most Koreans don't even know about it," he noted.
He said there is not a lot of depth to choose from yet. With curling being an Olympic sport, many countries that previously didn't have curling teams are now developing programs, he said.
"I've noticed a big difference in the skip's game-calling and her confidence," said Gallant of the team's progress.
Gallant believes his team has what it takes to represent the host country at next year's Olympics, although it's by no means a done deal.
"If I can get to an Olympic games and help them to possibly medal, who knows? It'd be like a dream come true for me," he said.
If his son Brett and team Gushue nab the Canadian men's spot for the Olympics, Gallant said, "that would be too crazy, actually!"
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With files from CBC Radio: Island Morning