Road To The Olympic Games

Curling·Profile

For the love of curling (and each other): Peterman, Gallant eye gold at mixed doubles worlds

Two Canadian curlers combined their fierce competitive nature and love for the game with their love for each other, creating one of the most formidable mixed doubles teams in the world. And now Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant begin their quest on Saturday to become the first Canadians to win the mixed doubles world title.

Canadian duo met through national championship 3 years ago

Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman embrace after winning the Canadian mixed doubles curling championship in Fredericton on March 24. The duo are in Stavenger, Norway to compete for the world title in the mixed doubles discipline. (File/The Canadian Press)

STAVANGER, Norway – This is a story of how two Canadian curlers combined their fierce competitive nature and love for the game with their love for each other, creating one of the most formidable mixed doubles teams in the world.

Three years ago, Brett Gallant was in search of a partner to compete at the 2016 national championships in Saskatoon. He had been thinking about how to approach Jocelyn Peterman for a few weeks when he decided to send her a Facebook message at the beginning of the season.

"He just asked me to play over Facebook," Peterman says, with a laugh.

Gallant says (with a smirk) his only intention was to find a solid curling partner.

"It was strictly about curling ability," he says.

That's Gallant's story to this day and he's sticking with it. Peterman knows otherwise.

"There was flirting," she says. "He came out to see me in Calgary a couple days before the event in 2016 started. And then we drove to Saskatoon together."

Gallant, staying true to his curling-first approach, says the trip to Calgary was based solely on creating curling chemistry.

"We had never played mixed doubles before so I wanted to make sure we knew what we were doing," Gallant says.

Brett Gallant, right, and Jocelyn Peterman began their mixed doubles career together thanks, in part, to a Facebook message in 2016. (File/Canadian Press)

Whatever they talked about during their drive to Saskatoon seemed to work. In their first-ever mixed doubles event together Gallant and Peterman won the national championship.

"We clicked immediately. From a curling and friendship standpoint. That was a good thing. We're wired the same. We're competitive," Gallant said.

But because of scheduling conflicts with their foursomes that year, Gallant and Peterman didn't get to wear the Maple Leaf for Canada at the world championship.

Fast forward three years later, they're still together – curling and life partners. And still winning on the ice.

Rekindling their curling magic

But the two needed to work through some things both on and off the ice a few weeks ago at the beginning of this year's national championship in Fredericton.

"The first couple games weren't that good this year," Peterman says. "And then we both agreed we were going to treat each other like we had just met again. And it worked out pretty well."

They found that spark again and went on to capture this year's title, earning the right to wear the Maple Leaf again. This time there are no scheduling conflicts.

After that victory in Fredericton, Gallant was overrun with emotion during the post-game interview.

"I love this team," he said fighting back tears. Not one to be emotional, even Gallant was surprised by that moment.

"We don't get an opportunity to play in that championship very often. I wasn't expecting to get emotional," he said. "When you're doing this with someone you love and someone you care about it makes it that much more special."

Trying for a Canadian 1st

Now their curling journey and romance has led them to the 2019 mixed doubles world curling championship in Stavanger, Norway. The two started their quest to become Canada's first-ever champions at the event on Saturday afternoon with a 12-4 win against Romania. That's right, Canada has never won a mixed doubles world curling title.

"It would be very special for us to win. I haven't been on the podium at the worlds. So that's the goal," Peterman said.

The two seem to be relishing the experience so far. During their first practice they were relaxed, smiling and joking around with one another.

Peterman and Gallant seem to be the perfect curling pair. It helps that they're both deeply in love with each other.

"Brett is the best teammate I could ask for. I wouldn't want to be here with anyone else," Peterman said.

Gallant, who won't gush over his curling date all that much, echoes his partner's sentiments.

"On and off the ice we bring the best out in each other," he said.

Now they're wearing the Canadian colours together. Once again celebrating their love of curling and each other on the world stage and hoping to bring home gold for Canada.

Broadcast Partners

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.