Canadian mixed doubles championships changing the future of curling
Winner headed to world championship, looking for invite to Olympics
There's been a lot of excitement in Saskatoon as people watch the 2016 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championships. The competition kicked off on Thursday and wrapped up Sunday night.
The winning team of Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant will have to quickly prepare for the world championships in Sweden, they will be flying out in just over 10 days later. That competition will be a game-changer, national curling coach Jim Waite says.
"If we do well at the world championships and medal there and get an invite to the Olympics, then mixed doubles will explode in Canada," Waite said.
"It's going to take a little bit of time because it's a new event, and even though it's very popular in the rest of the world, it's not very popular in Canada yet."
Waite will be joining Peterman and Gallant on their journey to Sweden. He explained that there's a lot of excitement because it is the first time that mixed doubles will be included as an Olympic event.
"We want to make sure that Canada gets the invite," he said.
Canada already has a reputation topping the Olympic podiums in men's, women's, and wheelchair curling. Waite said it's time to start producing mixed double champions, too.
"That's a fourth Olympic medal," he said.
The sport is very different than the curling most people are used to seeing.
"There are only two people on a team — a man and a woman — and so brushing becomes very important and having the ability to throw the rocks without the great sweeping that normal teams have, that makes a big difference as well," Waite said.
"The teams that do well here are very, very skilled."
The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship starts on April 16 in Karlstad, Sweden. The next winter Olympics is in 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.