Canada’s Thomas Scoffin, Corryn Brown, Derek Oryniak and Emily Gray stole their way to a bronze medal at the first-ever Winter Youth Olympic Games on Wednesday evening in Innsbruck, Austria.
Playing their third game of the day – following a loss to Italy in the afternoon semi-final and quarter-final victory over Czech Republic in the morning – Team Canada stole a point from Sweden in the first end, then held their opponents to one point in the second. After a Canadian deuce in three, Sweden surged back with a three-point score in four to move ahead 4-3 at the break.
Canada answered with a single in the fifth to tie the score, and a steal of one in six to take a 5-4 lead. A blank by Swedish skip Rasmus Wrana in the seventh end meant Team Canada had to defend its lead without hammer. Another steal of one in the eighth put the game away.
The curling competition at the first-ever Winter Youth Olympic Games involved 16 mixed teams of four (two male and two female) curlers between the ages of 16 and 18. Skip Thomas Scoffin, vice Corryn Brown, second Derek Oryniak and lead Emily Gray were selected for Team Canada on the basis of their curling accomplishments – all competed at the 2011 Canada Winter Games – as well as on their academic and personal strengths. They come from different provinces (Yukon, B.C., Manitoba and Prince Edward Island) and have been training for the Youth Olympic Games since meeting for the first time last April.
After a day off, the curlers will return to the ice for the next part of the curling competition: a scrambled Mixed Doubles format, in which one male and one female athlete, from different countries, play together as a team.