Peterman, Gallant chasing history in Norway
Couple is hoping to capture Canada's 1st world mixed doubles curling title
STAVANGER, Norway — There's just one curling title left for Canada to claim.
Out of all the victories through the years, Canadian curlers have yet to win the mixed doubles world championship.
In fact, in the 11 previous times the bonspiel has been held, Canada has won just three medals in total.
Canadian curlers and fans alike are a proud bunch when it comes to the roaring game. Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant are very aware of the expectations on them.
"We know the pressure. But we're trying not to think about that and focus on the support we're getting," Peterman said.
In Canada, children who play hockey grow up dreaming of hoisting the Stanley Cup. In curling, the dream is about winning a Scotties or Brier and getting the chance to play for Canada in a world championship.
WATCH | Canada closes in on playoff spot:
"You grow up watching Team Canada at these world championships. And you aspire to one day maybe get there once, maybe twice," Gallant said.
Both Peterman and Gallant have worn the Canadian colours at world championships before, but this one feels a little different. They're a couple on the ice and in life. And they're very aware of the opportunity that lays before them.
"Every time I get to represent Canada in curling it's like a dream come true," Gallant said. "You just want to make the most of it because you know there are younger curlers keeping an eye on us."
There's no question the goal is gold for Peterman and Gallant, and the Curling Canada support staff in Norway want it just as bad.
Jeff Stoughton has led the mixed doubles program for years and was tasked with preparing the Canadian duo of Katlyn Lawes and John Morris for the Olympics last year. The two won gold.
And he's not alone on the bench this week in Norway helping coach Peterman and Gallant.
Five-time Brier winner and four-time world curling champion Scott Pfeifer is also in Stavanger alongside Stoughton.
"That was more than 25 years ago I went to my first worlds," Pfeifer said. "It still feels the same now. Having the Maple Leaf on your back is a privilege and something you never forget."
The two are doing all the little things behind the scenes to make sure Peterman and Gallant can focus strictly on curling their best.
"Having the opportunity to have done this myself, I know how special this is," Pfeifer said. "You really want to put your best foot forward and do everything you can to help Canada achieve its ultimate goal."
They are sentiments shared by Stoughton.
"You feel so proud and lucky and privileged. It's pretty cool," Stoughton said. "To help these teams fulfill their dreams is so fulfilling for us."
But for as much as Stoughton and Pfeifer are doing everything they can to prepare Peterman and Gallant for each game, Stoughton admits they don't need much coaching.
"They know what their doing. They're experienced. We're just trying to take care of the little things," Stoughton said.
WATCH | Nigeria makes history at tournament:
It's almost as if Peterman, Gallant, Stoughton and Pfeifer know exactly what each other is thinking at every moment of this competition. They've been in so many high-intensity curling moments in Canadian colours over the years.
"We all love the game. We love Canada. We love putting that Maple Leaf on our back. And if we can help any teams achieve their goals, all the better. We believe in that," Stoughton said.
The deal when you're a Canadian curler at the highest level is that you're expected to win gold at every international every you compete at. It's that great expectation.
And these four, despite it being mixed doubles, seem to be the perfect foursome to make history for Canada.
"We have a team that can do it. And they expect to it. I think that's wonderful. Their expectation is a gold medal and so is ours so it'll be very special if we can do that this weekend," Stoughton said.
For Peterman, it's comforting to know they have two curlers coaching them who have been in the biggest battles as the playoffs inch closer at these worlds.
"It's cool knowing we watched them in these moments and now they're here supporting us in these moments. It's pretty neat," she said.
Gallant feels equally supported by the two as the team pushes towards the championship game.
"You couldn't ask for two guys who have more experience than they have," Gallant said.
"I wanted to win one national title to get to worlds. Now I've done it a few times and I never lose sight of how special this is."