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Junior Athlete of the Week: Nadine Chyz

This week’s junior Athlete of the Week is Nadine Chyz of Calgary, Alberta.

Nadine Chyz

Birthdate: Oct. 4, 1990
Birthplace: Calgary
Hometown: Calgary
Curling Club: Calgary Curling Club
Current Team: Team Chyz
Position: Skip
Delivery: Right
Nickname: Deaner

Getting to know Nadine Chyz

Nadine Chyz will get a chance to close out her terrific junior curling career in style.

The 20-year-old Calgarian made the tiebreaker round at last year’s M and M Meat Shops Canadian junior men’s and women’s curling championships in Sorel-Tracy, Que., losing to eventual runner-up Dailene Sivertson of B.C.

This time around when the two meet during round-robin play at the 2011 national junior championships, Chyz will have home-ice advantage working for her after claiming her second straight Alberta title and earning the right to wear Alberta colours when the nationals are staged from Jan. 29 to Feb. 6 at the North Hill and Glencoe curling clubs in her home town.

It’ll be another career highlight for Chyz, who’s had a few of them during her youth curling career, beginning with a gold medal she won at the 2006 Alberta Winter Games.

She also won a pair of prestigious junior events, the 2006 Ray Kingsmith Memorial Bonspiel in Calgary and the 2007 Whitney Field Memorial Bonspiel, and also represented Alberta in the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse.

And after losing to Casey Scheidegger in the final of the 2009 Alberta juniors, Chyz avenged that defeat a year later, beating Scheidegger’s sister Jessie in the championship game.

Ironically, Scheidegger joined forces with Chyz for their final seasons of junior; Scheidegger is playing second for Chyz on a team rounded out by third Rebecca Pattison, lead Kimberly Anderson and coach J.D. Lind.

Chyz also has volunteered behind the scenes — as an instructor at the Alberta Rocks Curling Camp, as a Level 1 certified coach and as a 50-50 salesperson at the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary.

Her interests go beyond curling, though; she was a competitive softball player, winning a provincial title in 2006 and playing at the 2005 Alberta Summer Games. She’s also on her way to becoming fluent in sign language, and is enrolled in the Mount Royal University Disability Studies program.

Quick Hits with Nadine Chyz

Do you have any superstitions?
“I knock on wood if I ever say something I don’t want to jinx.”

Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
Ellen DeGeneres, Will Kirby and Chef Gordon Ramsay, just so he could make the food for us, and because he is wildly entertaining.”

If you could be a star in any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Ski jumping. It would be so exhilarating.”

If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“That the rocks had ears and could hear and obey you when you say “curl, curl, CURL!”

What music do you like to listen to before a game?
“Any music that makes me want to dance or I know the words to because I normally end up singing along.”

Favourite:
— Website? “youtube.com. Very entertaining.”
— Order from Tim Hortons? “Iced Capp and fruit explosion muffin.”
— Vacation destination? “Greece.”
— Junk food? “Ice cream!”

Do you have any pet peeves?
“When people tell me they know something or have a surprise but they can’t tell me what it is. Just let it BE a surprise, then.”

Three things you always travel with?
“Camera, deck of cards, and lip-balm!”

First thing on your Bucket List?
“I don’t really have one so I wouldn’t know what’s at the top, but I would like to go bungee jumping . . . and get an eight-ender.”

Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Playing cards or any games. Liars dice!”

One thing most people don’t know about you?
“I can’t whistle, but make up for talent by saying the alphabet backwards.”

What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“That there is only one person who throws. ‘Are you the thrower or the sweeper?’ ”

Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“Draw to the button.”