Q & A with Curling

As the week two athletes are well into their Games experience, we asked the curlers a few questions about their sport, the village, and more.  Check out their answers below but first, team introductions:

women's curling teamWomen’s team:

  • Skip - Hayley Bergman of Altona
  • Third - Anastasia Ginters of Altona
  • Second - Payton Bergman of Altona
  • Lead - Cheyenne Ennes of Manitou

Men’s team:

  • Skip - Graham Loewen, Winnipeg
  • Third - Sean Flatt, Winnipeg
  • Second - Zack Bilawka, Winnipeg
  • Lead - Adam Flatt, Winnipeg

How long have you been curling?

The curlers have all been at this for a very long time with the shortest experience at 7 years all the way to some who have been curling for 12 years!

men's curling teamIf you had a chance to win a game, what would be your preferred go-to shot?

You may need to brush up on your curling lingo to understand these answers but they ranged from a draw, nose hit, and runback, to more specific shots like in-turn draw to the button or angle runback.

What’s your favorite thing about the athletes’ village?

The athletes all agreed the volunteers are exceptionally nice and helpful. They also are enjoying the pin trading, the activities (especially karaoke), and the bunk beds which make them feel like they are having an eight-night sleepover party!

Who is your sport hero?

As expected, many of the responses included curlers, Kaitlyn Lawes, Kevin Martin, Brett Gallant, Val Sweeting, and Jeff Stoughton. Other answers included hockey’s Cory Schneider and freeride mountain bike rider and X-Games athlete Cam Zink.

If you were not curling in these Games, what other sport would you want to compete in?

The twins both picked badminton (future doubles partners perhaps?). Others said figure skating (because it’s so beautiful), archery, skiing (both alpine and freestyle), squash, and hockey.

Now onto the coaches!

The women’s team coach Chris Hamblin’s sport hero is the legendary Sandra Schmirler and if not curling, she would compete in biathlon.  Hamblin has been curling for “too many” years – close to 50 and, along with men’s coach Tom Clasper, have racked up impressive resumes in their years in this sport.  These are Clasper’s third Canada Games including 2015 where he coached his team to a gold medal. His philosophy is to ensure the athletes have fun while they are competing. In 2015, men’s team second Zack Bilawka watched his older brother, Brendan, win the gold, so Coach Tom asked him what it was like being a spectator vs. being a competitor.  Zack’s answer: “less stressful, more frustrating”.

Come cheer on the teams as they head into the playoffs on Friday from the stands, or watch the livestream at canadagames.live

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