Road To The Olympic Games

Curling

Less than a month after giving birth to daughter, Rachel Homan wins Slam title

In 50 days, beginning at the end of February eight months pregnant, Ottawa's Rachel Homan played in the Scotties final, gave birth and won a Grand Slam final.

Ottawa curler defeats Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni in final of women's Grand Slam

Ottawa's Rachel Homan, right, and rink pose with the Humpty's Championship Cup after defeating Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni 6-3 in the final on Monday. (Mike Cleasby/Grand Slam of Curling)

The timeline is remarkable. Her quick turnaround back to the ice after giving birth, inspirational.

Rachel Homan hasn't missed a single game with her team and she's a champion once again.

Eight months pregnant at the end of February, Homan guided her foursome all the way to the Scotties final against Kerri Einarson.

Less than a month later, On Mar. 25, Homan gave birth to her daughter Bowyn.

The original plan was for Homan to miss the two Grand Slams in the Calgary bubble — a reasonable expectation considering the first event, the Champions Cup, was set to begin just three weeks after Bowyn was born.

Then on Monday afternoon in Calgary, with the sun blasting down, Homan pushed a stroller with baby Bowyn inside toward Calgary's WinSport Arena in advance of the Champions Cup final against Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni.

Again, that timeline: In 50 days, beginning at the end of February eight months pregnant, Homan played in the Scotties final, gave birth and won a Grand Slam final.

WATCH | Ottawa's Rachel Homan wins 11th career Grand Slam title:

Rachel Homan claims record-extending 11th Grand Slam of Curling title

Sports

19 days ago
0:57
Team Homan defeats Team Tirinzoni 6-3 in the Champions Cup final. 0:57

"I want to be clear that every pregnancy, delivery and recovery is different and you can't compare from person to person," Homan told CBC Sports.

"I feel so fortunate to be able to play and I know that wouldn't be the case for a lot of people."

The title game turned out to be a back and forth granite battle. Homan picked up two points in the third end to take a 3-1 lead on Tirinzoni. After trading single points most of the way, Homan took a 5-3 lead into the final end.

Alina Pätz was unable to make her final shot, securing the Champions Cup title for Homan, 6-3.

Rachel Homan holds daughter Bowyn inside Calgary's WinSport Arena during the women's Grand Slam of Curling. (Submitted by Rachel Homan)

It's a record 11th Slam title for Homan — with baby Bowyn in the crowd in the Calgary bubble. Homan only lost one game throughout the entire event.

"I want to show my kids that whatever your journey is, to always go after your dreams and goals and sometimes you can do what you thought wasn't possible," Homan said.

Homan makes clear she wouldn't be able to do this without the support of her husband Shawn Germain, their two mothers and a supporting cast around her that has allowed Homan to keep curling throughout all of this.

She says they had two doctor's appointments with Bowyn prior to leaving for the bubble to ensure she was healthy — they got the all-clear to bring her into the bubble.

"My obstetrician said my delivery went so well she was more than comfortable with me playing," Homan said.

"I wasn't sure if I could slide or complete, but believed I could. I don't think I could have curled after my son was born as my recovery was more challenging with him. I'm feeling great mentally and physically and feel grateful that's the case."

Shawn and the couple's son Ryatt are back home. Rachel's mother, Catherine Homan, is in the bubble helping out with Bowyn when she's on the ice playing.

Homan says she's been enjoying their time together inside the hotel — complete with pregame snuggles before taking to the pebbled sheet.

Rachel Homan, left, poses with her daughter Bowyn beside mother Catherine. (Submitted by Rachel Homan)

"I'm getting a lot of newborn snuggles and enjoying every second. I wish my son could be here too but obviously COVID is preventing that," Homan said.

Grandma Catherine then takes over when Rachel takes to the ice.

Above all, Homan is immensely grateful to be back on the ice and knowing she has a healthy and happy daughter with her for an unforgettable experience.

"I'm really happy everyone has stayed safe and healthy," she said.

"Being able to play the sport we love has brought some normalcy to many curlers and we can't thank everyone's efforts here in the bubble for giving us this opportunity."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devin Heroux

CBC reporter

Devin Heroux reports for CBC News and Sports. He is now based in Toronto, after working first for the CBC in Calgary and Saskatoon.

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