THUNDER BAY –Krista McCarville and her curling foursome would love to chase Olympic gold in Beijing next year.
It would be the accomplishment of a lifetime, said McCarville, who will be joined in Liverpool, N.S. next week by teammates Sarah Potts, Ashley Sippala and Kendra Lilly, where they`ll take on 13 other teams from across the country for one of two spots at the Olympic trials in November in Saskatoon.
If they make it all the way to Beijing, it will mean they`ll have to miss out on a chance to represent Northern Ontario at the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, being staged in Thunder Bay early next year, but it’s a sacrifice the team is willing to make.
“We’re extremely excited. We’re very happy to be in it. We didn’t know for sure that we would get in, so it’s kind of a bonus that we are,” said McCarville, whose squad doesn’t spend much time on the bonspiel circuit, but nonetheless had enough World Curling Tour points to earn a spot in Liverpool.
“We just want to play more and the opportunity to ever play toward an Olympics is pretty exciting. We’re going to come out and practice as much as we can ... Kendra’s going to come into town in about a week-and-a-half. We’re going to have a little training weekend and we’ll be off to the pre-trials.”
The trials are nothing new for the 38-year-old skip, who missed the playoffs at the 2013 pre-trials and finished 4-4, missing the playoffs at the 2017 Olympic trials.
“We’re going to play it as a ordinary play-down. We get in that intense play-down mode. It’s not a bonspiel. It’s something you want to win. You want to come out No. 1 and we’re going to do everything we can to stay rested and do everything we can nutrition- and health-wise, as well as practising,” McCarville said.
Potts is equally keen to put the team to the test on the east coast.
“Anytime you have a chance at the Olympics that’s definitely a privilege and we’re super excited. Last time we got to go to the pre-trials, we really wanted to go to the trials. And this time we figure we got to go last time, so we want to do it again,” Potts said. “We want to be there so we’re just thrilled we have a chance and we’re going to give it our all and see what happens.”
At the very least, it will get the foursome, coached by former world champion Rick Lang, on track for the Northern Ontario play-downs in early January in Kenora.
“It would be everything,” she said, asked what it would mean to make it to Beijing. “Our team definitely is always focused on the Scotties, but now that the Olympics are there, that’s the ultimate goal. To be honest, I don’t let myself get that far ahead. It would be a dream come true. We try to focus on the first step – so pre-trials, with going to the trials the goal right now.”
The pre-trials get under way on Monday and wrap up on Oct. 31.